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Power outage, Southwestern Electric Power Company Gov. Stitt holds news conference on power demand situation

AND DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY, MR. MARK GOWER, SO IN ANTICIPATION OF THIS SEVERE WEATHER, WE DECLARED AN EMERGENCY FOR AND DECLARED AN EMERGENCY FOR ALL 77 COUNTIES. TO START PREPARING FOR THIS EVENT., BUT WE ARE EXPERIENCING UNPRECEDENTED COLD Weather AND THATS, LEADING TO RECORD DEMAND ON OUR POWER. GRID.. I JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH PRESIDENT BIDENS HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR, DR. LIZ SHERWOOD RANDALL.. She TOLD ME THAT WHITE HOUSE IS IS READY TO HELP AND SUPPORT OKLAHOMAS ANY WAY THEY CAN. As WE MANAGE THIS STORM., WE ARE CURRENTLY PREPARING A REQUEST FOR A FEDERAL DISASTER DECLARATION, AND ONE THING WILL BE ASKING FOR IS INDIVIDUAL HEATING AND ENERGY ASSISTANCE.. This IS GOING TO HELP OKLAHOMA. AFFORD THESE SPIKES AND ENERGY COSTS THAT WILL BE COMING. WERE ALSO ASKING. President BIDEN TO CONSIDER A NATIONAL DISASTER DECLARATION, WHICH WOULD ALSO UNLOCK MORE FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS FOR OKLAHOMAS FOR OKLAHOMAS IN OUR AG COMMUNITY. YESTERDAY, WE ASKED OKLAHOMA TO DO THEIR PART TO CONSERVE ENERGY, AND THOSE EFFORTS ARE REALLY PAYING. Off. SOUTHWEST POWER POOL DROPPED BACK DOWN TO LEVEL THIS AFTERNOON. THATS REALLY GOOD NEWS, BECAUSE IT SHOULD REDUCE THE CHANCE OF POWER INTERRUPTIONS IN THE FUTURE.. However, WE STILL NEED TO CONSERVE. Energy., WE ARENT OUT OF THE WOODS YET.. Please CONSIDER TURNING YOUR THERMOSTAT DOWN TO 68 OR COOLER AND AVOID USING LARGE APPLIANCES LIKE WASHERS AND DRYERS, OR YOUR DISHWASHER.. It MAY NOT SEEM LIKE MUCH, BUT THESE SMALL STEPS TOGETHER CAN MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

. So THANKS AGAIN OKLAHOMA FOR DOING YOUR PART TO HELP US OUT AND NOW I WANT TO TURN IT OVER TO OUR SECRETARY OF ENERGY ENVIRONMENT, MR. KEN WAGNER.. Thank YOU, GOVERNOR AND GOOD EVENING., SO WE FIRST BECAME AWARE OF THE UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED TO OUR POWER IN THIS STORM. Friday MORNING, PRIOR TO THAT., WE WERE AWARE OF SOME POWER INTERRUPTIONS AS A RELATED TO SMALL MUNICIPAL UTILITIES AND SOME INTERRUPTION TO CUSTOMER BASES.. But FRIDAY MORNING WE SAW A A KEY.. I HATE TO USE THE TERM UNPRECEDENTED, BUT AN UNSEEN SPIKE IN NATURAL GAS SPOT MARKET PRICES THAT WERE 40 TIMES WHAT WE NORMALLY SEE AND AND THAT CAUSED SOME CONCERN. So WE GOT ON THE PHONE AND AND STARTED IMMEDIATELY COORDINATING WITH DIRECTOR MARK GOWERS, OKLAHOMA, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. Brandy WREATH AT THE OKLAHOMA CORPORATION COMMISSION. – ALONG WITH HIS COMMISSIONE CHAIRMAN, HYATT, DANA MURPHY AND BOB ANTHONY, AS WELL AS ALL OF OUR UTILITY PROVIDERS THROUGHOUT THE STATE – AND THIS IS OUR GAS PROVIDERS SUCH AS OKLAHOMA, NATURAL GAS AND CENTERPOINT ENERGY. The BIG INDUSTRIAL, THE BIG INVESTOR OWNED UTILITIES, PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF OKLAHOMA, A OGampE AS WELL AS OUR RURAL ELECTRIC, CO, OPS AND OUR MUNICIPAL PROVIDERS, THE GRAND RIVER DAM AUTHORITY AND OKLAHOMA MUNICIPAL POWER AUTHORITY AND – AND WE WERE ABLE TO DETERMINE AT THAT TIME, THAT THE Southwest POWER POOL WHICH GOVERNS ALL OF OUR UTILITY USAGE AND GENERATION IN THE STATE THAT WE WERE SATISFIED THAT WE HAD ENOUGH POWER TO GET US THROUGH AT LEAST MONDAY EVENING.

, SO IN FACT SO MUCH SO THAT THEY KEPT IT AT A LOW LEVEL. That JUST WAS HEY: WE HAVE AN EMERGENCY ALERT ON THE SYSTEM AND NO QUESTION ABOUT CONSERVATION OR CURTAILMEN OR SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS, AND SO WEVE BEEN TRACKING THAT FOR FOR DAYS AND AND SUNDAY SATURDAY., WE STARTED HEARING THAT THERE MIGHT BE A TIGHTENING OF OUR GAS SUPPLY BECAUSE Of THE IMPRECEDENTED COLD. WERE SEEING FREEZE, OFFS AND WEVE, SEEN OUR NATURAL GAS PRODUCTION IN THE STATE REDUCED BY TWO THIRDS OR REDUCED TO TWO THIRDS OF ITS NORMAL PRODUCTION LEVELS., SO THAT BEGAN. It BEGAN TO CAUSE SOME CONCERN AND YESTERDAY, AS YOU NOTICED, THE GOVERNOR IN CONSULTATION WITH ALL OF OUR OUR RESOURCES, ISSUED THE REQUEST OF OKLAHOMAS TO BE GOOD. AND HELP ENSURE THAT WE DONT HAVE RESIDENTIAL SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS. ON SATURDAY.. We ALSO SAW THAT OUR NEIGHBOR TO THE SOUTH TEXAS WAS EXPERIENCING MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WITHOUT POWER AND ROLLING BROWNOUTS. WANTED TO ENSURE THAT DIDNT HAPPEN IN OKLAHOMA.. So AGAIN, THE MESSAGE OF CONSERVATION WENT OUT AND WEVE SEEN THAT TODAY. WE WENT TO A PERIOD WHERE THE SOUTHWEST POWER POOL ORDERED SOME SMALL. SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS OR CURTAILMENTS, BUT BECAUSE OKLAHOMAS ARE GOOD AT WHAT THEY DO AND THEY CARE ABOUT EACH OTHER. The MESSAGE OF CONSERVATION TOOK AND WEVE SEEN THEM ACTUALLY WITHDRAW THOSE ORDERS AND REDUCE FROM LEVEL THREE, WHICH MEANS SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS TO LEVEL TWO, AND SO WERE THANKFUL FOR THAT. But WE HAVE TO STAY VIGILANT.. We KNOW THAT ON THE NATURAL GAS SIDE OF THINGS, NOT THE POWER GENERATION SIDE BUT PROVIDING ACTUAL NATURAL GAS.

HOMES THAT WERE SEEING REDUCTIONS IN THE AMOUNT OF GAS AVAILABLE ON THE SYSTEM AND THATS TWOFOLD ONE. WERE SEEING FREEZE OFFS AT THE WELL, WHERE WATER AND LINES Actually FREEZES AND MAKES MOVEMENT OF GAS IMPOSSIBLE AND NUMBER TWO GAS PROCESSING PLANTS.. So EVEN IF YOU CAN GET THE RAW NATURAL GAS, THE GAS PROCESSING PLANTS ARE SHUT DOWN DUE TO FREEZING.. Omg HAS FOCUSED ON REDUCTIONS OF SERVICE TO ITS INDUSTRIAL AND LARGE COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS.. Theyve DONE THAT TO ENSURE THAT YOU, AS RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS, DONT EXPERIENCE. INTERRUPTIONS THAT WE MIGHT HAVE OTHERWISE BEEN TALKING ABOUT AND LIKE THEYRE TALKING ABOUT IN TEXAS.. So AGAIN, AS I AS AS OF TODAY, I KNOW OF NO NO IMMEDIATE JEOPARDY OF SERVICE INTERRUPTIONS ON THE NATURAL GAS SIDE AND IMMEDIATELY WE SEEM TO BE IN A PRETTY GOOD PLACE WITH OUR ELECTRIC GENERATION, BUT THAT CONTINUES TO DEPEND ON YOU TAKING THE LEAD WITH Conserving ENERGY, TURNING THOSE THERMOSTATS DOWN COUPLE OF DEGREES. AND AND THINKING OF YOUR NEIGHBOR WHOS, HOPEFULLY DOING THE SAME, WE WILL CONTINUE WEVE THESE DISCUSSIONS WITH THESE UTILITY PROVIDERS AND BRANDY IN THE UTILITY.. The PUBLIC UTILITY DIVISION HAVE BEEN CONTINUAL CONVERSATIONS.. Its LIKE WEVE, NEVER REALLY HUNG UP., AND SO THOSE THOSE CONVERSATIONS OCCUR AT MIDNIGHT. They OCCUR AT SEVEN IN THE MORNING. They OCCUR ALL DAY, LONG. AND SO WELL CONTINUE TO DO THAT, AND WITH THAT I WOULD PASS THE MIC ALONG TO BRANDI REEF AT THE PUBLIC. Utility., I SHOULD DIVISION OF THE OKLAHOMA.

Corporation COMMISSION. – THANK YOU SECRETARY WAGNER AND THANK YOU GOVERNOR FOR INVITING THIS PARTICIPATE IN THIS CRITICAL TIME., ITS VERY IMPORTANT TO THE COMMISSION THAT THE THE PUBLIC IS AWARE OF WHATS GOING ON THE ACTIONS THAT HAVE BEEN TAKEN AND SOME OF THE ACTIONS THAT WERE STILL WORKING. On., THE COMMISSION HAS CONTINUED TO WORK WITH OUR ENERGY PROVIDERS IN RESPONDING TO THIS EVENT. As SECRETARY WAGNER SAID, THAT REALLY STARTED WITH THE PRE PLANNING PHASE IN PREPARING FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE AND ALL OF THE UTILITIES OF COURSE. PRIOR TO THE STORMS ARRIVAL AND ACTED THEIR EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN HAD THEIR FOLKS READY TO HANDLE OUTAGES BROUGHT IN EXTRA CREWS TO BE ON Site TO ENSURE THAT ANY OUTAGES WOULD BE AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE. AND SO THATS KIND OF THAT PRE PLANNING PHASE THAT THAT DID HAPPEN IN THIS STORM, AS WELL AS HAVING THE INTERRUPTIBLE TARIFFS OR THE BASICALLY THE CONTRACTS WITH CUSTOMERS. That SECRETARY WAGNER SPOKE OF THOSE HAVE BEEN CRITICAL AND NORMALLY THOSE ARE ABLE TO REALLY FILL IN THE GAPS. OF NEED FOR A TRADITIONAL PEAK THAT HAPPENS ON OUR SYSTEM.. Unfortunately, THIS STORM CREATED SUCH DEMAND, AS WAS MENTIONED, THAT NEW PEAK HAS ACTUALLY BEEN TESTING. The LIMITS OF ALL OF THE THINGS THAT ARE IN PLACE TO REALLY ENSURE THAT THAT POWER STAYS FLOWING THAT GAS STAYS FLOWING, AND SO THE SOUTHWEST POWER POOL, AS WAS MENTIONED, DID TO MOVE INTO A EMERGENCY RESPONSE PHASE THAT IS ALWAYS PLANNED. For YOU KNOW, THESE ARE VERY METHODIC.

Things IN THE GOAL IS TO REDUCE THE IMPACT TO END USERS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, WHILE KEEPING OUR GRIDS SAFE, SO THEY CAN PROVIDE WARMTH, HEAT AND THE THINGS THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR LIFE, HEALTH AND WELFARE, AND SO AS THEY MOVE INTO THAT CATEGORY 2. That WAS BEING DONE ABOUT THE SAME TIME THAT T ELEMENTS WERE HAPPENING OR ASKING LARGE CUSTOMERS TO STOP USAGE ON THE NATURAL GAS SYSTEM AND WHAT IM HAPPY TO REPORT THAT AT LEAST RIGHT NOW THAT WEVE SEEN A TURNAROUND AND SOME OF THOSE THINGS YOU KNOW, AS Was MENTIONED, THE ELECTRIC GRID WAS ABLE TO STABILIZE, THEY WERE ABLE TO BRING CUSTOMERS BACK ONLINE., AND THAT IS OBVIOUSLY IMPORTANT DURING THESE COLD WEATHER AND THE FREEZE OFFS THAT ARE HAPPENING, THAT THE FASTER. THESE OUTAGES CAN BE BROUGHT UP THE BETTER.. Additionally, THE COMPANIES HAVE WITH THE FREE SAUCE HAPPENING., THEY HAVE STATIONS, CNG TRUCKS AROUND THE STATE TO BE PREPARED TO FILL IN FOR ANY SUPPLY, THATS NEEDED WHENEVER THESE SYSTEM LINES ARE FREEZING AND THEY CANT TRANSPORT GAS TO NORMAL WAY, AND SO THE UTILITIES OF RESPONDED AND Have HAD THOSE IN PLACE SINCE PRIOR TO THE STORM AND ARE ABLE TO BE ABLE TO GO IN AND QUICKLY RESPOND.. So IF YOU DO HAVE OUTAGES, YOU KNOW STILL CALL YOUR UTILITY AND REPORT IT, BUT I CAN ASSURE YOU THAT IN WORKING WITH THEM CLOSELY. THEY HAVE FOLKS STATIONED READY TO R AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. But YOU KNOW IF YOURE LIKE ME, ANY OUTAGE IS SCARY.

In THESE TIMES, SO WE DO WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU.. We WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY OUTAGES REPORTED AND IS BEING HANDLED., SO THATS VERY IMPORTANT. The NEW PEAK THAT WAS HIT TODAY., YOU KNOW THATS, IT WAS WHAT WERE CALLING ALMOST AN UNMODELABLE EVENT. You KNOW EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS ON THE ELECTRIC GRID, THERES MODELS FIGURING OUT. How MUCH IS GOING TO BE NEEDED, SO EVERYBODY CAN BE PREPARED, AND THIS STORM CREATED SUCH DEMAND IN ADDITION. TO THE PROBLEM OF THE NATURAL GAS NOT BEING ABLE TO GET PLACES. That WAS MENTIONED CREATED KIND OF A PERFECT STORM THAT EVERYBODY HAS HAD TO RESPOND TO AND IVE BEEN VERY PLEASED. ALL OF THE STAKEHOLDERS THAT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO COLLABORATE ON THIS. The UTILITIES THE SOUTHWEST POWER POOL WAS ABLE TO GET SOME POWER IMPORTED. FROM OUR NEIGHBORING STATES THAT HAD SOME EXCESS THAT WAS ABLE TO HELP. But TODAY, WHENEVER THE EMERGENCY EVENT WAS CALLED., WE WERE ROUGHLY 640 MEGAWATTS SHORT ON POWER. AND I WILL TELL YOU IT WAS PROBABLY THE MOST EXCITED. IVE BEEN IN A WEEK WHENEVER WE HEARD THE NEWS THAT OKLAHOMAS HAD BEEN RESPONDING AND THAT THE CONSERVATION EFFORTS WERE WORKING In THE SOUTHWEST POWER POOL WAS ABLE TO STAND DOWN FROM THAT EMERGENCY LEVEL., LIKE I SAID THAT WAS THE BEST NEWS THAT WEVE HEARD ALL WEEK.. In ADDITION TO THOSE ACTIONS, THE COMMISSION DID HAVE AN EMERGENCY MEETING TODAY AND IN THAT EMERGENCY MEETING PASSED AN ORDER THAT WOULD ALLOW A SMALL NUMBER OF WELLS THAT HAD RESTRICTED FLOW TO GO AHEAD AND WORK AT FULL PRODUCTION AND THE HOPE THERE AS THAT IN SOME Of THE AREAS IN THE STATE WHERE THERE ARE SMALL SYSTEMS THAT MAY BE CLOSED OFF, THAT SOME WELLS MAY BE ABLE TO PRODUCE EXTRA AND BE ABLE TO HELP SHORE UP SOME OF THOSE SYSTEMS, WHILE THE LARGER TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM BECOMES MORE STABLE.

, SO WERE HOPEFUL. That IS GOING TO BE HELPFUL IN ADDITION.. We CONTINUE TO WORK WITH THE REGULATED ENERGY PROVIDERS TO LOOK AT OTHER ISSUES THAT MAY BE HAMPERING FLOW OR ANYTHING THAT DONE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH SECRETARY WAGNER AND WITH OFFICE. EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT, IN COORDINATION OF BEING ABLE TO HANDLE SOME OF THESE ISSUES. As THEY ARISE, THE FINAL THING., I WOULD SAY, IS THAT YOU KNOW WE ARE STILL NOT OUT OF THE WOODS.. This WAS MENTIONED EARLIER THAT THIS COULD TURN AROUND ON A DIME. If, IF THERES ADDITIONAL WEATHER EVENTS, YOU KNOW, WE KNOW THAT THE COLDEST DAYS ARE THAT ARE STILL COMING, WE STILL NEED PEOPLE TO STAY VIGILANT WITH THOSE REQUESTS BECAUSE SOUTHWEST POWER POOL AS QUICKLY AS WE CAME OUT OF A TEAR THREE WE COULD BE PUT BACK IN One AND THAT COULD RESULT IN OUTAGES., SO WE WANT TO ENSURE THAT PEOPLE ARE TAKING THOSE STEPS THAT ARE BEING MENTIONED. The THREE BIGGEST THAT THAT WE ASK FOLKS TO DO. TO IS TO ADJUST THOSE THERMOSTATS. If YOU CAN A DEGREE OR TWO CAN MAKE A VERY LARGE DIFFERENCE IN THE AMOUNT OF ELECTRICITY THAT IS CONSUMED, STAY SAFE., BUT PUT IT AS LOW AS YOU CAN AND STILL STAY SAFE IN YOUR HOME UNPLUG UNUSED DEVICES. You KNOW PEOPLE DONT THINK ABOUT IT, BUT EVERY DEVICE YOU HAVE SITTING AROUND YOUR HOUSE IF ITS PLUGGED IN IT CAN BE PULLING POWER AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE SIZE OF OKLAHOMA AND THE AMOUNT OF THINGS THAT WE HAVE PLUGGED IN, IF WE ALL DO OUR Part AND GO THROUGH THE HOUSE AND UNPLUG THOSE.

We CAN HAVE SIGNIFICANT POWER SAVINGS THAT CAN ASSIST THE SYSTEM AND THEN, FINALLY, TO REALLY MODERATE THE USAGE OF THOSE LARGE APPLIANCES, THE WASHERS DRYERS DISHWASHERS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED BECAUSE ITS NOT SOMETHING WE SEE ACTIVELY CONSUMING ELECTRICITY. Like SITTING IN FRONT OF A TELEVISION OR OR OTHER DEVICES., BUT THEY CONSUME, SUCH LARGE AMOUNTS THAT IF WE CAN REDUCE THAT, WE SEE SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS ON THE SYSTEM AND WERE BASICALLY JUST ASKING FOLKS TO SAY. Can THIS WAIT A COUPLE DAYS TO HELP A NEIGHBOR. AND SO THAT THATS REALLY THE MESSAGE THAT WERE TRYING TO SHARE THROUGH OUR SOCIAL MEDIA? And WE JUST WANT TO SAY AGAIN. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT RESP. IT TO THE GOVERNOR AND TO THE UTILITIES REQUEST TO CONSERVE. You MADE A DIFFERENCE TODAY., AND SO WE JUST NEED TO KEEP THAT EFFORT UP AND WE BELIEVE IN YOU. WERE IN THIS WITH YOU. Together AND WANT TO SAY THANK YOU AND WITH THAT, I WOULD TURN IT OVER TO MR. GOWER FROM OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. THANK YOU.. Thank YOU. Mr. REITH STATEWIDE. WEVE SEEN HEAVY SNOW AND RECORD BREAKING LOW TEMPERATURES, IMPACTING TRAVEL WATER SYSTEMS AND LIFE SAFETY. Is YOU OKLAHOMAS WORK TO STAY SAFE AND WARM.? The OKLAHOMA DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND HOMELAND SECURITY CONTINUES TO COORDINATE WITH YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGERS ACROSS THE STATE TO WORK TO ADDRESS RESOURCE REQUESTS FOR WATER HEATING SHELTERING NEEDS AND SUPPORTING OUR FIRST RESPONDERS OUT THERE WORKING IN THIS. THIS COLD WEATHE, WITH TEMPORARY ELECTRIC SERVICE INTERRUPTION.

Still POSSIBLE ACROSS THE STATE. ITS A GOOD TIME TO TAKE STEPS NOW TO PREPARE FOR A TEMPORARY OUTAGE.. The USE OF ALTERNATE HEATING SOURCES DURING A POWER OUTAGE CAN CAUSE CARBON MONOXIDE TO BUILD UP AND POISON. People ARE ANIMALS. WITH TEMPERATURES IN THE SINGLE DIGITS. ITS NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER, TO MAKE SURE OKLAHOMAS KNOW HOW TO PREPARE AND STAY SAFE IF THE POWER GOES. Out. FIRST GATHER UP FLASHLIGHTS BATTERIES AND EXTRA BLANKETS IN YOUR HOME AND PLAN TO DRESS AN EXTRA LAYERS FOR WARMTH., ESPECIALLY CAREFUL WITH ALTERNATIVE HEATING SOURCES SUCH AS GENERATORS BE SURE ITS NOT RUNNING INSIDE YOUR HOME OR YOUR GARAGE AND GENERATOR SHOULD BE PLACED OUTSIDE. At LEAST FIVE FEET FROM ANY DOORS OR WINDOWS TO PREVENT CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING., YOU SHOULD NEVER BURN CHARCOAL OR USE ANY UNVENTED GAS OR KEROSENE HEATER AND IN CLOSE SPACES. AND BE SURE TO USE PROPER VENTILATION WITH PORTABLE PROPANE HEATERS, AS WELL. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR Carbon MONOXIDE EXPOSURE SYMPTOMS THAT INCLUDES HEADACHE, DIZZINESS WEAKNESS, SLEEPINESS, NAUSEA AND OR VOMITING. If YOU SUSPECT, CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING OPEN A DOOR OR WINDOWS, TURN OFF THE GAS APPLIANCES AND GO OUTSIDE AND GET A LITTLE FRESH AIR AND DIAL 911. If YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING., I KNOW PEOPLE ARE WORRIED ABOUT FROZEN PIPES DURING THE POWER INTERRUPTION AND THESE COLD TEMPERATURES. BE SURE TO LET FAUCETS DRIP AND LEAVE CABINET DOORS OPEN TO PREVENT PIPES FROM FREEZING. FINALL DO WHAT WE DO AS OKLAHOMAS.

Every DAY.

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Written by freotech

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