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Photo: Lynda M. Gonzalez-Pool via Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has not provided information on which geographic locations will regain power, calling the agency "opaque."

Why it matters: A freezing winter storm has led to power outages for more than two million households in Texas.

What he's saying: "It’s kind of opaque, the way it’s run," Abbott said of ERCOT at a press conference.

  • He emphasized the need for transparency to ensure "the state will be able to withstand cold spells like what happened this time."
  • The Texas legislature will begin investigating ERCOT next week, according to Abbott.

The other side: Critics have slammed Abbott for pointing fingers at ERCOT, arguing that the agency operates under his leadership.

  • ERCOT is under the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC).
  • The governor appoints three PUC commissioners, including the chair.
  • "We know millions of people are suffering," ERCOT President and CEO Bill Magness said in a press release Wednesday. "We have no other priority than getting them electricity. No other priority."

The big picture: 6,000 megawatts of power have been added to the Texas grid, restoring power for about 1.2 million households.

  • Once functional, other gas, nuclear and coal generators will boost power for additional homes in the next few days.
  • The governor has banned natural gas companies from selling fuel outside the state.
  • At least 10 people have died in incidents related to severe winter weather.

Go deeper

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

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.

2 dead and millions without power in Texas as winter storm sweeps U.S.

Workers clear snow from a parking lot in Midland, Texas, U.S, on Monday. Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas city of Abilene has had all of its water services shut off, as a deadly winter storm continues to pummel the state.

The latest: Over 4 million people across Texas were without power early Tuesday, as most of the state faced single-digit temperatures and sub-zero wind chill, according to the national utility tracker poweroutage.us.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Feb 17, 2021 - Energy & Environment

The changing climate for U.S. power

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The crisis gripping Texas' power grid is very different from California's fiery emergencies in recent years, but there's connective tissue there: Electricity grids and infrastructure need to be better equipped for a changing climate or they can have deadly consequences.

Driving the news: Texas is reeling after a bitter blast of Arctic air and a related demand surge led to widespread outages, causing millions of customers to lose power that as of this morning is only partially restored.