FERC and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) have initiated a joint inquiry to assess an extreme cold weather event in the Midwest and South Central United States during the week of Jan. 15. The inquiry is to focus on identifying the causes of and any contributing factors to the event, which prompted appeals for consumers to reduce electricity use and strained the nation's natural gas pipeline systems, and identify any appropriate recommendations for improving operations under similar conditions. The inquiry is not an enforcement investigation, according to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. FERC and NERC staff will work with the Midwest Reliability Organization, ReliabilityFirst, SERC Reliability Corporation, and the relevant involved companies.