Kansas State Treasurer urges Congress to work with FERC on gas delivery standards following February cold snap

Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 3:55 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - After a severe winter weather event plunged temperatures well below freezing spurring a natural gas crisis in February, Kansas State Treasurer has urged the Kansas delegation to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on stricter gas delivery standards.

In response to a Congressional hearing, Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers says he urges members of the Kansas congressional delegation to work with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Glick with his request to allow the Commission to set stricter standards for natural gas delivery.

“We all have a responsibility to protect our communities and to protect Kansans by making sure what happened this past February does not happen again,” said Rogers.

In February 2020, a severe winter weather event plunged temperatures well below freezing. The events spurred a series in which heating and power were cut to homes because the electric grid could not produce enough energy, leaving many freezing in their homes. Months later, many Kansans are seeing the effects of the cold snap still in their natural gas bills as companies hike prices to repay what was owed due to the events.

“In early March, our office issued a total of 52 loans in excess of $74 million to communities all across Kansas as they faced unprecedented utility bills that put them on the brink of bankruptcy,” said Rogers. “Responsible tax policies and stable management of the state budget made it possible to have the funds on hand to provide to these communities in crisis.”

Rogers said the loans will now be paid back over a 10-year period and the cost will be passed along to consumers.

“As we head into what is predicted to be another harsh winter, we must continue working together because nobody -- not our communities, not Kansas residents, not the state -- can afford to endure another round of the extraordinary utility costs,” Rogers said.

Kansas Gas Service announced last week a new payment option for customers to restore their utilities. During the month of October, KGS customers can pay a quarter of their bill upfront and six monthly installments to restore services in order to help with the cost.

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