Railroad Commission to investigate power outages

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Railroad Commission has summoned key leaders in the natural gas industry to explain why power plants unexpectedly shutdown, or could not get started, during a cold snap last week.

The failure of 82 out of 550 Texas power plants triggered rolling power outages across the state on Feb. 2. An arctic cold front with high winds drove temperatures into the teens early that morning.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said a lack of adequate weatherization was the main cause for the power plants to shut down, including the lack of sufficient pressure in natural gas lines to fuel electric generators. The Railroad Commission regulates natural gas operations in Texas.

The commissioners want to hear from the Texas Energy Reliability Council, an industry group, to explain what happened.