Texas Isn’t Alone in Facing Higher Energy Bills After February’s Winter Storm
Imagine if a state hundreds of miles away experienced a catastrophic storm, and your energy bill went up because of it.
That's the situation many gas customers in Minnesota now face after the spectacular failure of Texas' energy grid during February's deep freeze.
Honestly, I've had trouble keeping up with just how messy and complicated the energy crisis we faced her was, and apparently our problems radiated out to other states.
I just came across an article from Ars Technica reporting that gas utility customers in Minnesota are likely going to have to pay hundreds of dollars more this year after the state's utility commission requested a surcharge on customers' bills to make up for the $800 million more they had to spend on natural gas during Texas' crisis.
Apparently, Minnesota's largest gas utility, CenterPoint Energy, is based in Houston and supplies a big chunk of Southeastern Texas. They spent $500 million extra on gas during the week Texans were frozen in place, and they're looking to get the good people of Minnesota to help foot the bill with surcharges that include 8.75% interest.
The company is eyeing similar measures in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Meanwhile, Minnesota's other big natural gas utility, Xcel Energy, also needs to find a way to recover additional expenses incurred when Texas' ability to supply gas froze solid (quite literally). They say they won't be charging customers interest to do it, though.
Here in Texas, our "leaders" are still scrambling to come up with solutions to the problems that caused blackouts and energy shortages during the extreme winter weather. (And, I'm sure, find a way to cover their own @$$es while playing the blame game.) One plan being considered even involves letting Berkshire Hathaway build backup power plants that you and I would pay for with higher energy bills.
How's the saying go? No man is an island? Well, Texas most definitely isn't an island, and our energy grid blunder is costing our neighbors.