KCC Denies Motions for the Release of Documents Related to Feb. Cold Snap, Possible Price Gouging

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) denied two orders denying two motions that were filed by the Natural Gas Transportation Customer Coalition (NGTCC) relating to gas prices during the February, 2021 cold snap.

The KCC cited lack of jurisdiction and legal restrictions as the reasoning behind the denial, but assured customers in a press release that state and federal investigations are continuing.

The first motion asked the Commission to subpoena documents from S&P Global Platts Gas Daily relating to its daily price index. The KCC acknowledged concerns, but said the order states that jurisdiction to investigate wholesale market manipulation lies with the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC), which has already opened an investigation.

The second motion requested invoices from Kansas Gas Service’s suppliers be made public. The KCC denied that motion after determining that supplier invoices satisfy the definition of “trade secret,” and are protected as propriety information as set forth both the U.S. and Kansas Supreme Courts. The order said that giving the public access to the invoices would not help the Commission in its investigation because the KCC’s staff, Natural Gas Transportation Customer Coalition, and all other parties on the docket (including the Kansas Attorney General’s Office and the Commission itself) already have full access to the documents.  The Attorney General’s Office is investigating February’s wholesale gas prices as part of its consumer protection probe.

The Commissioners emphasized their expectation that consumer will be compensated in the future if price gouging or market manipulation is uncovered through their ongoing investigations.