Feb 16, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Texas governor calls for emergency probe into state's power grid

A line of trucks next to a snow-covered road
Pike Electric service trucks in Fort Worth, Texas on Feb. 16. Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called for an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on Tuesday, in the wake of a statewide power outage that has affected millions during a historic winter storm.

Why it matters: Over 3 million customers in Texas are still without power, as more freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast for western Texas until 9 p.m. CST, per the National Weather Service.

Driving the news: Republican and Democratic lawmakers in Texas were outraged after the Texas power grid, which is separate from the federal power grid, collapsed from the severe weather, San Antonio Express-News reports. Equipment and generators froze in the single-digit temperatures.

  • At least 10 people have died in Texas in incidents related to severe winter weather and record freezing conditions, the Texas Tribune reports.

What they're saying: “The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” Abbott said 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."
  • ERCOT tweeted on Tuesday afternoon (EST) that "generating units across fuel types continue to struggle with frigid temperatures."
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