New Mexico lawmaker demanding answers on gas outage

"Natural gas transmission systems must be capable of meeting peak demand, even during unexpected and extreme weather conditions," he wrote. "As the federal agency charged with regulating the interstate transmission of natural gas, I ask that FERC exercise its regulatory authority to address this crisis by conducting a thorough review of the incidents that occurred and by identifying any causal factors leading to these incidents.  Most importantly, I urge FERC to do everything in its power to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future."

The outage, which occurred during harsh weather after power providers in West Texas slowed production, forced New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to declare a state of emergency, clsoing state offices to preserve the dwindling gas supplies. She also urged New Mexicans to reduce their power consumption to ensure there was sufficent gas across the state.

The shortfall left people unable to heat their homes on a day that experienced the coldest temperatures in New Mexico state history. Emergency warming shelters had to be established to accommodate those without gas, Lujan said.