Newsom calls for federal investigation into soaring natural gas prices

Governor Gavin Newsom wrote a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday urging it to investigate wholesale natural gas prices in California and other western states.

In the letter, addressed to FERC Chairman Willie Phillips, Newsom cited a sharp increase since late November that has left Californians in a hurry.

“These increases in wholesale natural gas prices were exacerbated by early cold weather in western states,” Newsom wrote, “but these known factors cannot explain the magnitude and longevity of the price spike.”

In addition to the impact on consumers and businesses, the letter lists sectors that have been negatively impacted by rising natural gas prices: industrial, agricultural, water and wastewater services.

Newsom referred to Tuesday’s joint meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission and the California Energy Commission, scheduled to explore the causes of the price spike and possible protections for ratepayers.

The governor asked FERC to “focus its investigative resources on assessing whether market manipulation, anti-competitive behavior, or other abnormal activity is causing these ongoing high prices in Western gas markets.” “.

FERC regulates the interstate transmission and sale of electricity and natural gas. Spokeswoman Mary O’Driscoll confirmed Monday that the agency had received the letter and planned to review it.

Los Angeles Times

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