DENVER (KRDO) -- The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission announced it will look into potential fraud and market manipulation of natural gas prices during the February cold-snap.
Natural gas prices reached record-breaking levels during a four-day period last month. Market prices of about $2.50/Dekatherm skyrocketed to nearly $200/Dekatherm. Forcing utility companies like Colorado Springs Utilities to spend nearly tens times as much as they would during a typical week.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser sent a letter to FERC on Tuesday praising them for this investigation. Saying in a statement that, "while those costs are now being pushed to customers, some companies like an investment bank gained $210 million from the gas and electricity price increase."
"We're concerned about what happened," Weiser says, "natural gas prices went through the roof and if we can't do something about it there is a risk that Colorado ratepayers will be left on the hook for something we really had nothing to do with."
Weiser said this investigation is going to take time to conduct, "We've got to figure out, who did what? Was it illegal? And can we get money back?"
This announcement from Weiser happening the same day the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously approved a natural gas rate increase for Colorado Springs Utility customers.
Starting in April, customers will see about $20 added to their bill for the next 14 months to make up the more than $100 million that CSU spent on natural gas during the extreme cold weather in February.