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High voltage transmission towers in Houston, Texas, on Feb. 21. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Four members of Texas' power grid operator resigned from their posts Tuesday after a winter storm led millions of homes to lose power across the state last week, according to a public filing.

Why it matters: Their resignations come days after Texas' public utility commission launched a probe to discover the "factors that combined with the devastating winter weather to disrupt the flow of power," throughout the state.

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) Chair Sally Talberg resigned along with Vice Chair Peter Cramton and board members Raymond Hepper and Terry Bulger.

  • During the storm, ERCOT, which manages the flow of electric power in the state and is separate from the federal power grid, began conducting power outages to balance the demand and supply of the grid.
  • In the aftermath, wholesale power prices rose from roughly $50 per megawatt hour to $9,000, WFAA reports — noting some Texans faced bills of up to $17,000 so far this month.
  • ERCOT said last week that the grid almost suffered a catastrophic failure that could have caused uncontrolled blackouts leaving residents without power for months.

The big picture: Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton formally demanded copies of communications and other documents from ERCOT and Texas power companies related to the winter storm, Axios' Ben Geman reports.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) called for an investigation into ERCOT on Tuesday and called the expensive energy bills "unacceptable."

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Texas power crisis spurs flurry of investigations

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Investigations of the Texas electricity crisis — a disaster with fatal consequences — are proliferating in the state and the Beltway.

Why it matters: The inquiries could bring regulatory changes to Texas' independent grid aimed at better preparation for extreme weather.

AOC raises $5 million for Texas relief fund

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez during a November news conference. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) announced Sunday night that her fundraising efforts for a Texas relief fund "just hit $5 million."

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez launched the fundraiser last Thursday, as Texas was gripped by a deadly winter weather emergency that saw millions of people Texans lose power and water.

John Frank, author of Denver
Feb 22, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado in danger of Texas-style blackouts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The blackouts in Texas are a real possibility in Colorado.

What they're saying: Much like Texas, the Colorado grid is managed by a handful of utility companies and needs to be better connected to its neighbors in the event of a major blow, state Sen. Chris Hansen (D-Denver) tells Axios.