Atmos Energy has illuminated reasons for its disruptions in service.
The Texas Railroad Commission (RRC) previously announced that it would conduct an investigation into Atmos to explain why customers had experienced losses in natural gas service, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.
Atmos reported low pressure as the reason customers in parts of Texas experienced gas service issues at their homes during a historic winter storm that impacted much of North America.
Atmos told the RRC during its latest legislative session that 2,306 customers reported disruptions, including 226 customers in Arlington, 179 in Grand Prairie, 231 in Fort Worth, and 24 in Benbrook.
Representative Chris Turner of Tarrant County issued a letter to Kevin Akers, the president and CEO of Atmos Energy, on January 5 regarding disruptions in service. Turner admonished the organization, noting that the organization had assured both customers and himself that fortification projects would prevent stability issues like those caused by Winter Storm Uri in 2021.
“I am especially alarmed that the City of Grand Prairie lost gas pressure to critical infrastructure, including two fire stations,” said Turner in the letter. “This was beyond an inconvenience — the fire department had to take extraordinary measures to prevent water in tanker trucks from freezing so they could continue to be prepared to respond to a fire.”
Atmos said in the legislative session that its issues had been caused by different circumstances than those experienced in the 2021 winter storm, in which the organization had struggled to find resources.
Atmos issued a response letter to Representative Turner citing that while disruptions were experienced, they were not nationwide, according to WFAA. The organization went on to say that the disruption “was caused by demand during the winter event that exceeded our contingency planning in local areas.”
Atmos continued by explaining that it would work to create a more robust contingency plan for events like this.
Turner, however, was unsatisfied with the letter and told WFAA that the letter did not provide clarification on why the disruption occurred.
“We still don’t understand exactly why the system failed for so many households in Grand Prairie and Arlington on December 22 and 23,” said Turner. “I don’t have a clear understanding of exactly how that’s going to be prevented, again, in the future, should there be another full weather event, which there very well could be as we’re only in January,” he said.
The Dallas Express reached out to Turner for additional comment but had not received a response at the time of publication.