Top Heads of Texas Energy Board Resign Amid Blackout Fiasco After Winter Storm

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Posted: Feb 24, 2021 2:15 PM
Top Heads of Texas Energy Board Resign Amid Blackout Fiasco After Winter Storm

Source: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Was it their fault? Was it not their fault? Were they casualties of the circumstances? Whatever the case, the top heads of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT, are gone. They resigned. ERCOT oversees almost 90 percent of the state’s power grid which has been engulfed in crisis since a brutal winter storm knocked out power for millions of Texans. Gov. Greg Abbott has called for investigations and resignations from ERCOT members. Yet, there’s another reason why these folks decided to leave the organization. There’s been criticism that some board members don’t even live in the state, which prompted four key players from ERCOT to take their leave (via NBC News):

Four members of the board at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, intend to resign following last week's blackouts that left millions in the state without power amid brutal winter weather.

The board chairwoman, vice chairman, and two other members of the ERCOT board issued a joint statement announcing their intention to resign at a meeting on Wednesday, according to a filing with the Texas Public Utility Commission.

“To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board effective after our urgent board teleconference meeting adjourns on Wednesday, February 24, 2021,” the statement said.

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In the letter, the four members said that they have heard the concerns regarding “out-of-state” board leadership and want to acknowledge the “pain and suffering” of Texans during the past week.

“With the right follow through, Texas can lead the nation in investing in infrastructure and emergency preparedness to withstand the effects of severe weather events — whether in the form of flooding, drought, extreme temperatures, or hurricanes,” the letter said. “We want what is best for ERCOT and Texas.”

A fifth person, Craig Ivey, withdrew his petition to fill a vacant spot on the board in a letter acknowledging that he too resides outside the state of Texas, according to the filing.

Texas has been on a renewable energy kick, specifically with heavily subsidized wind power that’s simply not reliable under these conditions. If you’re going to go this route, you need to have a backup and that’s solely grounded in fossil fuels. In Alberta, Canada, the province also suffers from frigid temperatures, has an isolated energy grid, and keeps the lights on since it utilizes healthy amounts of gas and coal power. It’s reliable. Wind power is not. Plain and simple.