One idea to slow this winter’s extraordinary natural gas prices is to look a little deeper into whether they were avoidable. Chairwoman of the Missouri Public Service Commission Sheila Lumpe says the gas companies may be subject to a new round of what are called “prudence hearings”. That’s where the PSC investigates if utility companies’ bad decisions are partially to blame for the increases they’re asking customers to absorb. The commission will act on MGE’s rate request this morning, and several others very shortly. The prudence hearings wouldn’t stop those increases but could modify them after-the-fact.