Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declares investigation, calls for resignations at ERCOT after mass power outages during freeze

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Governor Greg Abbott is calling on the state legislature to investigate the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) after millions of Texans were left with no power for days during record-breaking cold temperatures.

The move comes as Abbott declared reform of the council, which manages power flow in the state, an emergency item for the current legislative session. House Speaker Dade Phelan requested a joint hearing between the chamber’s State Affairs and Energy Resources committees to “cut through the finger-pointing and hear directly from stakeholders.”

“It’s not just this ‘once in a lifetime event,’ it’s the fact that we have not invested in resiliency and not required it to the extent we should have from the generation system and the grid operator,” State Rep. Rafael Anchía, D-Dallas, who serves on the energy resources committee, said in a phone call Tuesday.

Later Tuesday, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, the presiding officer of the Texas Senate, said the Senate Business & Commerce committee will hold hearings on the winter weather power outages in Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott is calling on Electric Reliability Council of Texas leadership to step down after the ongoing winter storm nearly maxed the state’s electric grid, leaving millions of Texans without power for days.

In a live interview with ABC13 in Houston Tuesday night, Gov. Abbott called on ERCOT leadership to resign after the ongoing winter storm nearly maxed the state’s electric grid, leaving millions of Texans without power for days.

As of Tuesday evening, there are 3.2 million people across Texas were without power, as temperatures dipped into the single digits.

“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Governor Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for acting quickly on this challenge, and I will work with them to enhance Texas’ electric grid and ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again.”

ERCOT explained on Tuesday that the reason for the rolling blackouts in some areas has been to maintain the state’s energy grid. What this means is ERCOT advises power companies on how much they have available to use safely at any given time.

Then, those utility companies decided how to manage the energy, ERCOT CEO and President Bill Magnus told KXAN Tuesday.

“We just tell them the amount we need from an engineering, from a grid perspective, and they manage the local plan and how it’s undertaken,” he said.

“We must get to the bottom of this to be sure we are better prepared even if an unprecedented weather event happens again,” Patrick said in a statement.

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