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

June 26, 2018

RRC and PUC seals

AUSTIN – June 26, 2018

Railroad Commission Chairman Christi Craddick and Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker are urging natural gas pipeline operators and electric generation plant operators to work together to ensure availability of pipeline transmission capacity to meet electric generation needs at times of peak demand during the hot Texas summer. Craddick and Walker are asking stakeholders to work with the Railroad Commission’s Oversight and Safety Division to schedule required pipeline testing outside of peak demand months. During the required tests, pipelines are unable to deliver natural gas, which fuels electric generation plants across Texas.

“Pipeline safety is one of the most important areas we regulate at the Railroad Commission,” Chairman Craddick said. 

“Integrity testing of gas transmission pipelines is a critical part of our safety requirements and should be scheduled to maximize operational availability. We must all work together to make sure the citizens of Texas are able to keep their air conditioning running, fans blowing, and lights on during the hot Texas summer.”

“Gas fired electric generation plants make up nearly 40% of our ERCOT’s electric generation, so we need to be sure they are online during times of peak demand,” said Chairman Walker. “With our state’s robust economy and growing population, demand is higher than ever. Therefore, teamwork is the key to a successful summer for all Texans.”

The Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission have issued the attached notice to natural gas pipeline operators and electric generation plant operators.

Railroad Commission and Public Utility Commission staff are monitoring electric generation needs during peak demand months and assisting with necessary coordination of pipeline transmission capacity to best ensure natural gas availability for electric generation facilities.

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 http://www.rrc.texas.gov/about-us/.