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Breaking news: Spire advocates for Missourians while EDF gives mixed messages

Without the STL Pipeline – Understanding the impact to you 

Nearly 650,000 homes and businesses in eastern Missouri rely on reliable, affordable natural gas from Spire STL Pipeline to fuel their lives. 

The current, short-term certificate issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will expire Dec. 13, 2021. 

Natural gas is incredibly reliable and outages are rare. But without the STL Pipeline in service, delivering critical energy to St. Louis homes and businesses, the potential for service disruptions and outages is real.

We’re currently coordinating with emergency management professionals in the region in the event of service disruptions if the STL Pipeline is no longer in service.

We want customers to be aware and be prepared for potential disruptions that could occur without the pipeline in place.

Download safety tips | Explore FAQs | View all news 

See the impact

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Stay up to date and sign the petition
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How can I help? Contact the FERC

Please visit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) website to make your voice heard by leaving a supportive comment for the Spire STL Pipeline (docket number CP17-40-007).

Sign the petition and stay up to date

Winter heating season is here. Please join your neighbors, friends and coworkers in raising their voice to demand the STL Pipeline remains in operation beyond December 13. Don’t Lose What You Use, protect the STL Pipeline.

Contact the FERC

Please visit the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) website to make your voice heard by leaving a supportive comment for the Spire STL Pipeline (docket number CP17-40-007).

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From the community

"It would be devastating to me personally, to have put into jeopardy a dream I have worked so hard for, be dashed, when it can so easily be avoided."

- William Stock | President, Microfinish Co. Inc.

"When supply chains are already constrained, an interruption of gas supply from STL Pipeline would have a rippling impact on the Missouri economy...

...and, more importantly, on Missouri residents that rely upon the supply of natural gas to heat their homes. We urge FERC to approve Spire’s temporary application as soon as possible to reduce the uncertainty facing local industry and residents as we approach the winter season.”

-Ardagh Group | Manufacturer of glass packaging
 

"Our industry and industry partners...have been hit hard by the pandemic."

"Our industry and industry partners, including the hospitality sector, have been hit hard by the pandemic. If we are forced to significantly curtail our operations due to a loss of natural gas, we will experience substantial impacts on our business and employees."

-Jim Bicklein, Senior General Manager, St. Louis Brewery | Anheuser-Busch 

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updates

In the news

View news and media updates about the STL Pipeline

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Safety

Preparing for potential service interruptions and outages during cold weather

Safety tips on how to prepare

STL Pipeline benefits for eastern Missouri customers
Delivering essential energy

The Spire STL Pipeline is a critical source of energy  for more than 650,000 Missouri homes and businesses. 

Critical infrastructure

Without the state-of-the-art infrastructure and stable access to energy provided by the Spire STL Pipeline, up to 133,000 customers could have been without gas service during Winter Storm Uri. 

Reliability

The Spire STL Pipeline ensured that Missouri customers had access to affordable energy supply during Winter Storm Uri. Without the pipeline, overall Spire Missouri customers could have experienced additional gas costs of up to $300 million over the course of nine days. 

STL Pipeline: Know the facts
Spire – and the St. Louis community - can’t go back to the infrastructure and gas supplies we had before the STL Pipeline began operations 2019.

Myth: Because the STL Pipeline was not “needed,” Spire Missouri can return to the sources of natural gas supply for the St. Louis region utilized prior to STL Pipeline construction.

Fact: Since the STL Pipeline began service in November 2019, all market participants in the greater St. Louis region changed their pipeline supply arrangements.  

Spire Missouri has made significant improvements to its supply, system, and operations. The STL Pipeline allowed Spire Missouri to:

  1. reduce its captivity on Enable MRT, its historical supplier, that depends on gas production from the same gas producing regions in Texas and Oklahoma that suffered major operational disruptions just earlier this year during Winter Storm Uri;
  2. retire aging and obsolete infrastructure that required costly upgrades and maintenance; and 
  3. bolster its ability to provide service to the western-most areas of its St. Louis service territory without substantial cost (which costs are estimated to be $100 million) and disruption to traffic and the environment in the region.

Enable MRT re-sold the pipeline capacity that Spire Missouri gave up to other shippers on its pipeline.  

Spire has been pursuing options to bring in additional gas supply to the St. Louis region. Due to increased gas demand and operational constraints, Spire Missouri’s ability to secure new firm supply contracts on other pipelines in the region is significantly constrained, making it difficult to replace STL Pipeline supplies for the foreseeable future. 
While there is some capacity available on the MRT East Line, the capacity is less than half of what STL Pipeline provides and there are documented reliability issues. 

The Spire STL Pipeline is critical infrastructure that ensures reliable, affordable energy supply for the St. Louis region.

Myth: The STL Pipeline was not necessary. 

Fact: Spire Missouri previously identified a critical need to address resiliency and reliability for customers and began exploring a variety of new supply options to meet our customer needs in the Greater St. Louis region. 

Prior to the STL Pipeline, customers in St. Louis were nearly 90% dependent on a single pipeline that ran through the New Madrid fault, an area with the potential for severe and unpredictable earthquakes, and that provided gas from Texas and Oklahoma.

The new, 65-mile STL Pipeline is critical energy infrastructure that connects the Spire Missouri distribution system to the Rockies Express Pipeline north of the New Madrid fault and enables Spire Missouri to tap into diverse, reliable natural gas supplies from both the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachian Basin. 

The STL Pipeline provides access to some of the most competitively priced natural gas supplies in the U.S. which ultimately lowers prices for consumers.

Myth: The STL Pipeline has increased costs for Missouri customers.

Fact: The energy supply diversity created by STL Pipeline allows Spire Missouri to take advantage of some of the most competitively priced supplies of natural gas from multiple producing regions, ultimately delivering both lower costs and higher reliability to customers.  This was proven in February 2021 during Winter Storm Uri when the St. Louis area did not suffer from gas outages or gas price spikes like other cities in the region.  

Spire Missouri’s reliance on the STL Pipeline during Winter Storm Uri protected its customers from supply disruptions and saved its customers hundreds of millions of dollars in the aggregate.  Without the supply diversity provided by the STL Pipeline, Spire Missouri would have had to purchase nearly all of its gas from Texas and Oklahoma during Winter Storm Uri, and it estimates that customers could have experienced additional gas costs of up to $300 million just during those nine days due to price spikes. And that’s based on the assumption that unreliable supplies would even be available and could have even been successfully delivered to the region. Spire Missouri’s ability to avoid that disastrous (and potentially life-threatening) outcome was a direct result of STL Pipeline’s access to more diverse supplies. 

Spire carefully designed and constructed the STL Pipeline to mitigate environmental impacts and continues to work side by side with landowners until their land is fully restored.

Myth: Construction of the STL Pipeline has damaged land along its right-of-way and resulted in lower crop yields for landowners.

Fact: During construction, STL Pipeline strived to work side by side with landowners to minimize the impact resulting from the construction and operation of the pipeline. For the nearly 70% of landowners who reached agreements with Spire and have replanted, their crops have come back faster than expected. In fact, two large landowners in Illinois recently acknowledged STL Pipeline’s ‘good will’ in a filing at FERC.  STL Pipeline remains committed to continue monitoring restoration efforts and performing additional remediation, where necessary, along the entire 65-mile route.

Spire is informing them about potential natural gas service disruptions if the STL Pipeline is not in service.

Myth: Spire is conducting an orchestrated campaign to unnecessarily alarm its customers so they can continue to operate the pipeline for profits. 

Fact: Without the STL Pipeline in service during winter weather, the possibility of service disruptions and outages throughout the St. Louis area is very real. In fact, in comments submitted to the FERC, both the Environmental Defense Fund, who originally challenged the Pipeline’s approval, and the Missouri Public Service Commission have stated this temporary emergency certificate is appropriate to prevent disruption to the region.

While we feel the facts support the case for keeping STL Pipeline in operation this winter, the Pipeline is only authorized to operate through Dec.13. Today we have no guarantee that the FERC will extend the approval to cover the full winter heating season. That’s why we have been coordinating with the Emergency Operations Centers throughout the regions. We always strive to do what’s right for our customers – and the right thing to do is to be open with them about how they could be impacted and keep them informed about what we are doing to keep the health and safety of the region our top priority. 

Spire STL Pipeline was developed to enhance reliability of energy supply for the St. Louis region.

Myth: Gas demand in the greater St. Louis region is flat and existing infrastructure prior to the STL Pipeline met this demand. 

Fact: The STL Pipeline project was originally conceived to enhance reliability in the greater St. Louis region. STL Pipeline connects with the Rockies Express Pipeline, providing direct access to one of the largest supply basins in America - the Appalachian Basin - as well as the Rocky Mountains producing region. This supply diversity also allows Spire Missouri to take advantage of some of the most competitively priced supply of natural gas from multiple producing regions, ultimately delivering lower costs and higher reliability to customers. 

STL Pipeline provided access to lower cost natural gas supplies which delivered lower costs to customers in Eastern Missouri.

Myth: My gas bill is going up because of the STL Pipeline.


Fact: Thanks to the energy supply diversity provided by STL Pipeline, Spire was able to access more competitively priced supplies of natural gas, ultimately delivering lower costs to customers on the eastern side of the state.  Winter Storm Uri illustrates what natural gas supplies would have cost without the STL Pipeline.  Spire Missouri did experience increased costs during Winter Storm Uri, but Spire Missouri’s customers could have experienced a combined increased gas cost of up to $300 million more as a result of Winter Storm Uri without the STL Pipeline. 

However, even with the STL Pipeline and the work we did to minimize costs, current supply and demand issues nationwide and world-wide have ultimately affected the price of natural gas available to customers throughout the state of Missouri.  In addition, Spire Missouri spent more on gas supply in February 2021 than it did for all of 2020, much of which has not yet been paid for by customers. We recognize any bill increase can be concerning. That’s why we have filed for a deferral of the Winter Storm Uri costs with the Missouri Public Service Commission, allowing us to spread any impact out over the course of three years. 

Natural gas is the most reliable form of energy.

Myth: Natural gas isn't reliable.

Fact: Natural gas outages are rare because natural gas has been the most reliable form of energy. This situation is different. The STL Pipeline is critical natural gas infrastructure that delivers energy to our region – and it’s suddenly in jeopardy due to an unprecedented court ruling.

Spire has created an emergency plan to reduce the potential impact for residential customers and businesses that provide critical services.

Myth: Spire failed to adequately prepare for the winter heating season in light of the legal challenge to the STL Pipeline.

Fact: Following the June 2021 court ruling which took back the STL Pipeline’s permit to operate, Spire employees immediately undertook a review to understand the potential impact if the Pipeline was taken out of service.  

Spire has been pursuing options to bring in additional gas supply to the St. Louis region, and while that helps, the amount of energy Spire could add to its system does not fully replace the supplies provided by the STL Pipeline and will not meet the total amount required to maintain service for all Spire Missouri customers in the St. Louis region during extreme cold weather conditions.   

Spire has reviewed our current customer needs, modeled cold weather scenarios, and we have a multi-step plan created to minimize impact to the St. Louis region. 

As part of the planning, Spire is working to ensure that residential customers and customers who provide critical services to support the health and safety of the region, such as hospitals, nursing homes and urgent care facilities, maintain services whenever possible. 

Spire is also coordinating and collaborating with partners at the local, state, and federal levels to unify emergency planning and response. 

Taking action to prepare is necessary now, before there is an emergency -- to help our partners understand the situation, prepare for potential cascading impacts and to support the community in the event of outages. Part of that preparedness includes informing customers of potential service disruptions and outages.

Our operations teams are closely monitoring the situation, and we are working around the clock to keep customers safe. Working together as a community, we can do our best to keep homes warm for everyone.

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