Heitkamp Talks to Xcel Energy, TransCanada about Natural Gas Disruptions in North Dakota


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D.C. (NewsDakota.com) – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp spoke this morning with executives from Xcel Energy and TransCanada to discuss the pipeline rupture in Manitoba, Canada that led to Xcel asking many of its eastern North Dakota customers to significantly limit their use of natural gas, including a request to maintain thermostats at 60 degrees or lower over the weekend.

On Saturday, a natural gas pipeline ruptured outside of Winnipeg, which affected the natural gas supply for some North Dakota customers.

“Over the weekend, North Dakotans throughout the eastern part of the state were asked – in the middle of a sustained, severe cold spell – to turn their thermostats down to 60 degrees or lower,” said Heitkamp. “North Dakota customers deserve to have the peace of mind that their energy supply will be there when they need it most. We need to learn from what happened, and see if there are improvements to the contingency planning we should make to guarantee an adequate flow of natural gas. That way, families will never have to question if they will be able to keep warm during the cold winter months, and particularly during tough storms.”

Heitkamp pressed Xcel officials for information on their contingency plans, how they worked, and what can be done in the future to avoid situations where North Dakotans are asked to turn down their thermostats in the dangerously cold winter months. Heitkamp also questioned TransCanada officials about what exactly led to the pipeline rupture and how their contingency plans can be improved to make sure an adequate supply of energy is available to North Dakota customers.

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