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Plunging Natural Gas Supply Shows Texas Still Not Ready for Cold

  • Nearly 1 million cubic feet of gas wasted or burned Sunday
  • Gas plants spewed massive amounts of toxic pollutants
Corrected

Texas’s natural gas industry had almost a year to prepare for last weekend’s cold blast and avoid another loss of production. But yet again, instruments froze, output plunged and companies spewed a miasma of pollutants into the atmosphere in a bid to keep operations stable.

Though Saturday’s cold front wasn’t as severe as the February storm that killed hundreds and knocked out power to much of the state, nearly 1 million cubic feet of gas was burned or wasted due to weather-related shutdowns, according to filings with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. At the same time, production plunged to the lowest level since the last freeze, BloombergNEF data shows.