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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission opened a staff inquiry into recent electric power outages and restrictions of natural gas and electricity service in Texas and other western states.

FERC said the inquiry will seek to identify the causes of the disruptions and to identify any appropriate actions for preventing their recurrence. It said this is not an enforcement investigation. Any decisions on whether to initiate enforcement investigations will be made at a later time.

FERC directed its staff to report back on its findings and recommendations as soon as practicable.

Texas regulators ordered an investigation into rolling blackouts that struck the state's electric grid on Feb. 2 and 3, including whether market manipulation played a role in disrupting natural gas and electricity supplies.

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