Texans Wants Answers About Power Grid After Massive Outages
AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott today declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.
“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.”
Earlier today, Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) requested that the House State Affairs and Energy Resources Committees hold a joint hearing to review the factors that led to megawatts of electric generation being dropped off the ERCOT system and the subsequent statewide blackouts that affected millions of Texans across the state.
Asks For Joint Hearing On February 25
“The extreme winter weather Texans experienced this week caused the lights to go off across the Lone Star State,” said Speaker Phelan. “I’m asking these two vital committees to convene a joint hearing on February 25th for the express purpose of helping Texans understand what went wrong and how we can prevent these conditions from happening again. We must cut through the finger-pointing and hear directly from stakeholders about the factors that contributed to generation staying down at a time when families needed it most, what our state can do to correct these issues, and what steps regulators and grid operators are taking to safeguard our electric grid.”
“The State of Texas is grateful to those on the front lines keeping Texans safe during this severe weather event and encourages all citizens to continue to conserve energy as officials work to restore power to the hundreds of thousands of Texans without it,” said House State Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Paddie. “The statewide blackouts raise questions about the reliability of our electric grid and its ability to withstand extreme weather events in the future. I thank Speaker Phelan for his leadership on this issue, support his call for a joint hearing, and look forward to a thorough and exhaustive review of this critical matter.”
“More than 2 million Texans have been left without power – some for many hours, some even days – and this is unacceptable,” said House Energy Resources Committee Chairman Craig Goldman. “This joint hearing will provide an opportunity for all Texans to hear from industry officials, regulators, and grid operators to get an explanation and understanding of what went wrong and steps they are all taking to make certain this never happens again. I look forward to working with my House colleagues and committee members to get to the bottom of this critical issue for all Texans.”