Gov. Abbott calls for ERCOT 'emergency item' in wake of winter power crisis

Wednesday, February 17, 2021
Gov. Abbott wants ERCOT reform to be 'emergency item'
Is a fix on the way? In the video, ABC13's Ted Oberg explains what state lawmakers will be tasked to do in the wake of a Texas-wide power crisis during the historic freeze.

With more than 4 million Texans forced to spend the night in freezing temperatures without the use of heaters - some to tragic outcomes, Gov. Greg Abbott is steering the Texas Legislature to make an investigation of the state's nonprofit energy council an emergency item.

Over the past 24 to 48 hours, ERCOT, or the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, has been the target of criticism statewide as large swaths of Texans were forced to take on daylong outages due to demand of power vastly outpacing supply.

SEE ALSO: Texplainer: Why does Texas have its own power grid?

Who's to blame for the massive power outage caused by a historic winter storm across Texas? We asked Gov. Greg Abbott and here's his response in this previous report on the prolonged outages from Feb. 15, 2021.

Abbott, who stated having meetings with ERCOT on Monday as temperatures dropped to teens and single-digits in parts of the state, said he's making this a priority to "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 Abbott on Tuesday. "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."

While this is a step in the direction of reform, this won't necessarily mean a fix will be made overnight.

In fact, an estimate early Tuesday suggested most Texas households who are in the dark won't have power restored on the same day, meaning another day of struggling for warmth.

SEE MORE: Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo calls lit up downtown skyscrapers amid outages 'maddening'

As more than one million people in the Houston area sit without electricity, many want to know why some downtown buildings are still well lit? This is what we know.

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