Energy Experts: Improvements To Electric And Gas Grids Should Be Looked At Holistically

natural gas provided about 66% of the power mix last week, which is higher than the 45% natural gas provides during a normal year.

Video Transcript

- The Texas Oil and Gas Association says its members are now doing a top-to-bottom review to prevent severe winter weather from causing problems in the future. Last week storms left millions of Texas in the dark and without heat and water. It was just miserable. Jack Fink reports now-- reports on the problems that are being faced by the natural gas companies.

JACK FINK: The Texas Oil and Gas Association says natural gas companies faced a lot of different problems during last week's storms. And as a result, they want to get to the bottom of this as quickly as possible.

Energy experts say the state legislature will need to take a holistic approach in trying to prevent problems in the future because natural gas is a vital part of the electric grid, especially in the winter. The state's power grid operator, ERCOT, has said some of the natural gas power plants tripped offline in the storms, in part because they weren't winterized enough or because of mechanical problems. Some companies like Luminant, which runs this natural gas power plant in Sunnyvale, report taking a number of steps to keep its facilities generating during the storms.

But there were other problems that kept plants from getting the natural gas they needed to generate power. The Texas Oil and Gas Association president, Todd Staples, says those problems took place at the natural gas wellhead in the field all the way to electric meters where customers see it.

TODD STAPLES: Many producers in the field lost production due to power outages. Many of them lost production because of the hazardous travel conditions that made it impossible to move rigs and equipment and personnel out into the field.

JACK FINK: Staples says despite problems their members faced, natural gas provided about 66% of the energy mix last week for power generation, which he says is more than 45% it provides during a typical year.

The state House and Senate will each hold hearings at the Capitol on Thursday to hear exactly what went wrong, why, and how to prevent it in the future. Jack Fink, CBS 11 News.