Frigid cold and blowing winds on Friday knocked out power and cut energy production across the United States, driving up heating and electricity prices as people prepared for holiday celebrations.
Winter Storm Elliott brought sub-freezing temperatures and extreme weather alerts to about two-thirds of the United States, with cold and snow in some areas to linger through the Christmas holiday.
More than 1.5 million homes and businesses lost power, oil refineries in Texas cut gasoline and diesel production on equipment failures, and heating and power prices surged on the losses. Oil and gas output from North Dakota to Texas suffered freeze-ins, cutting supplies.
Some 1.5 million barrels of daily refining capacity along the U.S. Gulf Coast was shut due to the bitterly cold temperatures. The production losses are not expected to last, but they have lifted fuel prices.
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