AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin Mayor Steve Adler directed a strong message at Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday — after ERCOT, the commission that directs 90% of the state’s power, released a conservation alert.
On Monday, ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Commission of Texas, drew national contempt for urging Texans to conserve energy due to many forced generation outages just months after millions were left without power for days during February’s historic winter storm. The incident is widely acknowledged as a colossal failure on the part of ERCOT. It’s faced ferocious scrutiny since.
Now, Adler is calling on Abbott to do something about it.
“It’s Day Two of conservation warnings from @GregAbbott_TX delicate power infrastructure,” Adler tweeted Tuesday morning. “It’s still technically spring and Texas is experiencing late-summer temperatures, power plants offline, and the governor is tweeting about a border wall that he can’t fund.”
Adler poked at the governor’s Tuesday announcement that he’d solicit individual donations to fund construction on the Texas-Mexico border wall. The mayor called Abbott’s priorities in question, saying the governor would likely care more about keeping the power reliable if it affected Texas business.
“Maybe when a corporation tells the governor that an unreliable power grid is bad for business, he’ll finally listen,” tweeted Adler. “He doesn’t seem to care about whether it’s bad for people.”
Last week, Abbott signed two bills into law that will change the number of ERCOT board members, give state leaders more say in new appointments, and will also require power providers on the ERCOT grid to weatherize equipment and communicate further about outages. Abbott said these changes adequately addressed the grid’s issues, saying: “Bottom line is that everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Abbott has not addressed the alert via Twitter or through an official statement. Adler’s comments refer to one of Abbott’s tweets about Texas business: “Texas ranked #1 again,” the governor tweeted in response to a state award for attracting development projects. “…Thanks to all the job creators in Texas.”