Gov. Greg Abbott urges lawmakers to mandate Texas grid weatherization
By Jeremy Blackman & Austin Bureau February 18, 2021
Gov. Greg Abbott issued a stiff rebuke Thursday of the Texas energy grid manager and called on lawmakers to mandate that power plants be better prepared for the kind of extreme cold that led to mass outages this week across the state.
“Texans deserve answers for why these shortfalls occurred and how they are going to be corrected,” he said in a news conference, calling out the Energy Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, which oversees the state’s electricity supply.
The remarks were some of the strongest to date from the Republican leader, and suggest that state lawmakers could follow through this year on findings a decade ago by federal authorities that plants were not equipped to handle frigid conditions.
bbott said he had requested a major disaster declaration from the Biden Administration, which would allow homeowners to apply for federal assistance to repair uninsured damage from the storms.
The governor has been especially quick to single out ERCOT for its role in the outages, saying officials there assured days ahead of the storms that enough power existed to keep the state up and running. Several generators failed late Sunday, forcing the agency to mandate power cuts to millions of houses in order to prevent a total collapse of the grid.