Spire ordered to send letters to customers to ease ‘public fears’ over gas supply

Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, MO. – The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) is ordering Spire to send a letter to its customers about the gas supply this upcoming winter “as accurately as possible”. The PSC staff says it is asking Spire to do this “in order to allay public fears and concerns”.

The PSC has ordered Spire to prepare a letter to customers explaining:

1) the gas supply situation for the upcoming winter heating season as accurately as possible
2) how future real-time communication will be made available
3) suggested voluntary actions that customers may take to help reduce gas consumption when temperatures fall

Scott Carter, Spire Missouri’s president, said previously the only guarantee that the company’s hundreds of thousands of customers will have natural gas is through December 13. That is when the emergency certificate issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will expire.

FERC commissioners talked about the pipeline during a meeting yesterday but did not issue another temporary certificate to keep the pipeline open.

Yesterday, the PSC staff also filed a motion asking the Commission to require Spire to take certain actions to better inform the public about the continued operation of the Spire STL Pipeline. Spire needs to submit drafts to the PSC Staff for review and approval by November 19 at 5 p.m.

The motion explained the St. Louis Board of Aldermen flagged the Commission to Spire’s recent messaging in the region. The commission stated, “staff expresses concern that the communications described by the Board of Aldermen appear to reflect an attempt by Spire to mobilize public opinion, through fear, in order to potentially pressure federal authorities to act to temporarily or permanently extend the operating authority of the Spire STL Pipeline.”

The Commission is also asking Spire to provide the PSC staff a copy of every communication to its customers since June 22, 2021, that refers to the Spire STL Pipeline.

The Commission is also asking the PSC staff to file a recommendation no later than January 4, 2022, indicating whether the Staff believes a complaint against Spire is warranted for false and misleading communications to its customers, failure to ensure the availability of sufficient gas supplies for the upcoming winter, and any other matters its investigation might disclose.

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