When the state’s power grid nearly collapsed last winter, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was quick to go after hotels that tripled their prices.
But a Houston Chronicle editorial this week had harsh criticism of state leaders for allowing utilities to pass along $3.6 billion in natural gas costs they were forced to pay during the emergency. More than half of Texas’s electricity comes from natural gas, and that was in short supply during the winter storm in mid-February..
“The problem is that our system has baked in an incentive for those companies that respond during a crisis,” said Lisa Falkenberg, editor of the Chronicle’s opinion section. “And the way we see it, it’s state sanctioned price gouging to let them go up on their prices and then make the Texas ratepayers pay for it later. Some of the same people who weren’t even able to turn on their heat during the storm are now on the hook for billions in profits enjoyed by the gas industry.”
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.