May 25, 2021 – Enterprise Products saw an opportunity during Winter Storm Uri to engage in predatory price gouging by inflating its natural gas prices by as much as 12,000% – which is the equivalent of a Texas resident paying over $360 for a gallon of milk. During the height of Winter Storm Uri, Enterprise held these exorbitant prices in place knowing full well that public utilities, such as CPS Energy, had no choice but to continue to buy.
In its claim against CPS Energy, Enterprise defends their pricing as being legitimate and enforceable, but Texas law says otherwise. Enterprise’s rhetoric notwithstanding, CPS Energy’s legal positions are based on long-standing legal doctrines, deeply rooted in Texas law: price gouging during a declared disaster is a violation of public policy and the exorbitant prices charged by Enterprise are unenforceable because they are unconscionable.
The amount CPS Energy has already paid Enterprise for natural gas provided during the disaster is 1,095% more than the prevailing price of natural gas two days before Governor Abbott’s disaster declaration, and 911% more than the price the day after the storm ended. Despite having already been paid $36.5 million, a price that is ten times more than the price it charged just days before the declared disaster, Enterprise is suing CPS Energy to collect nearly $100 million more. We at CPS Energy will not pass the higher, unlawful part of the charges to our customers only to further fatten Enterprise Products’ bottom line.