May 21, 2021 – Energy Transfer, which controls the decisions of their subsidiaries Houston Pipe Line (HPL) and Oasis, is doubling down on its profits-over-people business strategy. Shortly after Winter Storm Uri ended, Energy Transfer ceased selling natural gas to CPS Energy and has since purported to terminate its natural gas contracts with CPS Energy altogether. Energy Transfer, which also speaks for its subsidiaries, HPL and Oasis, has clearly stated that it has ceased selling natural gas and related services, so long as CPS Energy is suing it, which is aggressively contrary to our continued efforts to negotiate and work with them constructively.
Energy Transfer charged the single most exorbitant, excessive, and unconscionable Winter Storm Uri prices that we are aware of. These hardball tactics – which are intended to pressure us and our customers into paying – underscore Energy Transfer’s apparent belief that a declared natural disaster is the perfect opportunity to squeeze as much profit as possible out of everyday consumers.
Energy Transfer reported that it generated more than two years’ worth of profits from intrastate gas sales in just the first quarter of 2021. We should all remember that these unlawful profits will come from the pockets of everyday San Antonians and Texans unless we do something about it. Further, Energy Transfer’s suggestion that CPS Energy failed to adequately prepare for an unprecedented 15,000% increase in natural gas prices that resulted from blatant unlawful price gouging is absurd. In the last 25 years, despite multiple natural disasters, the highest mid-point spot price reported for natural gas at the Houston Ship Channel hub was approximately $25 – which is just 5% of the highest price Energy Transfer charged CPS Energy during Winter Storm Uri. There simply is no lawful justification for price gouging during a declared natural disaster, and no one would be expected to hedge against illegal activity of this scale. CPS Energy remains confident in the merits of our case against Energy Transfer.