Documents reveal natural gas chaos in Texas blackouts

An amended version of S.B. 3, a key bill meant to address power failures and weatherize generation, could impose penalties for companies that don’t prepare energy assets for weather emergencies. But it seeks to narrowly target gas facilities linked to the electricity supply chain instead of the broader gas system.

The penalties in the bill, while ranging as high as $1 million, aren’t high enough to faze large energy companies, Virginia Palacios, executive director of the government reform group Commission Shift, said in an email.

The bill has already passed the state Senate and it passed out of the House Committee on State Affairs this week. A new section of the legislation endorsed by the House committee could benefit “dispatchable” generation tied to fuels such as gas, coal and nuclear.

Lawmakers are working to pass various changes before the end of the regular state legislative session on May 31. A special session is also possible.

“Any priority legislation that seeks to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again needs to be amended to protect the lives and livelihoods of Texans,” Palacios wrote.”

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