Texas Power Grid Chair, Directors Quit in Wake of Blackouts
By Naureen S Malik & Mark Chediak
The chair of Texas’s power grid operator and four other board members have resigned in the wake of the energy crisis that crippled the state’s electrical system.
Electric Reliability Council of Texas Chair Sally Talberg resigned along with Vice Chair Peter Cramton and board members Raymond Hepper, Terry Bulger and Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, according to a filing.
The departures are the first high-profile resignations in the wake of last week’s blackouts that left millions of homes without heat and light and dozens of people dead during an historic cold snap. Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week called for board members and other leaders of the grid operator, known as Ercot, to step down.
“When Texans were in desperate need of electricity, Ercot failed to do its job, and Texans were left shivering in their homes,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement. “The State of Texas will continue to investigate Ercot and uncover the full picture of what went wrong.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner warned against making Ercot a “scapegoat” for the crisis, saying responsibility also lies with the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the state legislature, “which failed to act 10 years ago.”
Turner, who served 27 years in the Texas House prior to being elected mayor of America’s fourth biggest city, filed a bill in the legislature in 2011 calling for the prevention of blackouts by ensuring there is enough reserve power capacity in the state. He said the bill never received a hearing.