Senate Energy Committee to hold hearing on Kansas energy issues

Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Joe Manchin  (Jim...
Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Joe Manchin (Jim Watson/Pool via AP)(JIM WATSON | AP)
Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 10:14 AM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Senate Committee on Energy will hold a hearing regarding Kansas energy issues at the request of Senator Roger Marshall.

Senator Roger Marshall said on Thursday the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources said it will hold a hearing about energy issues facing Kansans after an extreme cold snap in February. He said the hearing, which came at his request, would discuss the reliability and resiliency of the electric grid in extreme weather events.

“I appreciate Chairman Manchin and Ranking Member Barrasso for agreeing to hold this important hearing. The Midwest and Great Plains have seen cold weather before. Electricity generators and natural gas producers in the north consistently operate in extreme cold weather. The ultimate questions become, ‘Why weren’t we prepared?’ and ‘What can we do to ensure this doesn’t happen again?’” said Senator Marshall. “While we continue to do all we can at the federal level to confirm no foul play or price gouging has occurred and to support our utility companies and community leaders as they worked diligently to keep Kansans warm, I believe it is prudent to exam the reliability, resiliency, and affordability of electricity and natural gas when the system is stressed.”

Sen. Marshall said he sent a letter to Chairman Joe Manchin and Ranking Member John Barrasso to request the hearing. He said recent cold weather impacted much of the Midwest and put extreme pressure on the nation’s natural gas and propane supply. He said the freezing conditions prevented new energy generation, which added pressure to natural gas supplies for electrical generation.

According to Marshall, a drastic increase in demand caused natural gas prices to skyrocket to over 100% of regular prices. He said, as a result, natural gas and electrical rates paid by Kansans and Kansas businesses reached record levels.

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