AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – During an update on power and winter weather response, Gov. Greg Abbott blasted the Electric Reliability Council of Texas over how it handled the storms and issued an order that calls for an investigation into the agency.
Millions of Texans were left without power this week as winter storms wreaked havoc and caused major power generation issues. Rotating outages were originally planned overnight Sunday and into Monday to help deal with power issues, but those turned into outages lasting hours and even days.
Since then, Abbott said there were no outages caused by generation issues as of late Thursday afternoon. However, nearly 370,000 residents are without power due to factors such as downed power lines from ice storms or facilities needing to be manually turned on for restoration.
Due to the major issues seen this week, Abbott said he issued an executive order that adds emergency items to the state’s legislative session about investigating ERCOT.
“What happened this week to our fellow Texans is absolutely unacceptable and can never be replicated again. It’s especially unacceptable when you realize what ERCOT told the state of Texas,” Abbott said. “They said five days before the winter storm hit the ERCOT CEO assured ERCOT, and I quote, ‘We’re ready for the cold temperatures headed our way.'”
Abbott said ERCOT told power plants to make sure they were winterized properly and that the agency’s winter assessment plan “assured” Texans it would be ready to meet peak demand.
“ERCOT failed on each of these measures that they said they had undertaken. Texans deserve answers about why these shortfalls occurred and how they are going to be corrected and Texans will get those answers,” Abbott said.
“I have issued an executive order that added emergency items to the legislative session asking the legislature to investigate what happened at ERCOT that led up to and during the course of the response to this winter storm,” the governor added.
Abbott also said he added more emergency items to the legislative session that calls for a mandate and funding of winterizing generators and the power system.
“All of us in the state of Texas believe it is completely unacceptable that you had to endure one minute of the challenge you faced, all of us agree on the necessity of action — not just the legislature. But to ensure the action that you never have to endure anything like this ever again,” Abbott said.