Tina Smith state Minnesota Washington state Texas reports death Department Tina Smith state Minnesota Washington state Texas

Senator seeks probe of natural gas price spikes during storm

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WASHINGTON (AP) - A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the Midwest and other regions following severe winter storms that plunged Texas and other states into a deep freeze that caused power outages in millions of homes and businesses.Minnesota Sen.

Tina Smith says natural gas spot prices spiked as high as 100 times typical levels, forcing utilities and other natural gas users to incur exorbitant costs, many of which were passed on to customers.In a letter sent Saturday to federal regulators, Smith said the price spikes will not just harm consumers, but could "threaten the financial stability of some utilities that do not have sufficient cash reserves to cover their.

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