Oil and gas interests left to “self-regulate” in aftermath of winter storm as Texas politicians pile on to ERCOT

Consumer advocates said the agency could have — and should have — acted sooner to make sure natural gas infrastructure could withstand another winter storm. They cited a federal report that pointed to winterization of the natural gas supply as an area that should be addressed to help prevent power outages in Texas after the 2011 storm.

“These reports came out in 2011, and that was the time for the RRC to say, ‘We’re going to require this [winterization],’” said Virginia Palacios, executive director of Commission Shift, a new nonprofit organization in Texas focused on environmental and consumer issues at the Railroad Commission.

“They worked within their capability [during the storm],” she said, but “changes should have taken place 10 years ago.”

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