Freeze Spurs Texas to Give Energy Priority to Homes, Hospitals

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Texas’s top energy regulator adopted emergency measures to ensure households, hospitals, utilities and other “human needs customers” get first dibs on natural gas for furnaces as the coldest weather in decades descends on the Lone Star state.

The measure, adopted late Friday by the Texas Railroad Commission, puts residential customers, medical facilities, schools and churches at the front of the line for gas amid concerns that frigid temperatures will freeze some wells and infrastructure, squeezing supplies of the fuel.

The punch of cold air that already had disabled some gas-procession facilities in North and West Texas will have a “severe impact on the provision of energy resources” in coming days, Mark Evarts, the commission’s director of market oversight, said during Friday’s hearing.

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