Tuesday afternoon, Governor Greg Abbott called for an investigation into ERCOT.
In the brunt of a brutal winter storm, one that resulted in an Energy Emergency Alert, millions of citizens across the State of Texas have lost power. As rolling blackouts persist, and many experiencing loss of power for over 48 hours amidst freezing temperatures, Governor Abbott has announced an investigation into ERCOT.
The governor had previously focused blame on private power companies, equating statewide outages to the disastrous response exhibited during Hurricane Harvey.
“The people who have fallen short with regard to the power are the private power generation companies,” said Abbott.
“There’s a separate part of the system that is not working right now, and those are the private companies that generate the power that goes into ERCOT. And it’s those private companies that generate power that are not working,” Abbott said. “They were working up until about midnight last night, but after midnight, some of them literally froze up, and were incapable of providing power, and some are still incapable of providing power.”
We are ordering an investigation into ERCOT and immediate transparency by ERCOT. pic.twitter.com/Mt2GPlaFuE
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 16, 2021
In an effort to pinpoint who is at fault for the system’s massive failure, Abbott followed Texas Speak of the House Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) in calling for an investigation in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” Abbott announced in a press release. “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.”
Previously, Phelan had pushed the Energy Resources and House State Affairs to root out those responsible for the handling of the power grid during the storm:
“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.”
In response to the critical situation, Abbott deployed the National Guard on Monday afternoon to run welfare checks and transfer the elderly to warming centers.