RRC Chairman Craddick and PUC Chairman Walker Working to Ensure Availability of Natural Gas for Electric Service this Summer

February 27, 2019

RRC and PUC logos

Austin, TX – In anticipation of high electricity demand across Texas this summer, key state agencies are taking steps now to ensure reliable electric service for all Texans. The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC), and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) are working together to make sure gas-fueled power plants have the natural gas they need for electricity generation.

“We applaud our industries for collaborating on solutions that will keep Texans cool and our economy humming during the blistering summer months,” said Christi Craddick, Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission.

“Texas has more than enough natural gas to fuel power generation, we must make sure it can get where it’s needed, when it is needed and that requires coordination between gas pipelines companies, electric generation facilities and our grid operator.”

“Thanks to our state’s robust economy and growing population, the demand for electricity is growing steadily,” said PUC Chairman DeAnn Walker. “With gas-fueled electric generation plants making up more than 50 percent of the generation capacity in ERCOT, we must ensure they are able to produce electricity during times of peak demand.”

Representatives of the electric and gas industries have been working for months in conjunction with the PUC, RRC, and ERCOT (which oversees roughly 90% of the electric load in Texas) to improve coordination. As the winter heating season winds down and summertime high temperatures loom just a few months away, companies should focus on finalizing their preparations for the summer, including scheduling maintenance around periods of expected high demand.

To engage companies across the state in this vital effort, the Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission issued this notice to natural gas pipeline operators, electric generation operators, and electric utilities, urging them to finalize their coordinated preparations for the summer and maintain clear lines of communication as the summer progresses.  Staff from the Railroad Commission, Public Utility Commission, and ERCOT will continue to work closely with the companies and industries to assist their coordination efforts.

About the Railroad Commission:
Our mission is to serve Texas by our stewardship of natural resources and the environment, our concern for personal and community safety, and our support of enhanced development and economic vitality for the benefit of Texans. The Commission has a long and proud history of service to both Texas and to the nation, including almost 100 years regulating the oil and gas industry. The Commission also has jurisdiction over alternative fuels safety, natural gas utilities, surface mining and intrastate pipelines. Established in 1891, the Railroad Commission of Texas is the oldest regulatory agency in the state. To learn more, please visit https://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.