SAN ANGELO, TX — A failure of this magnitude cannot happen again, State Rep. Drew Darby said.
“As a member of Energy Resources, I intend to ensure that your voice is represented at this hearing and we get to the bottom of what forced millions of Texans to be without power in sub-freezing temperatures,” Darby said.
The entire state of Texas has been grappling with rolling blackouts of the electricity power grid managed by the Energy Reliability Commission of Texas, or ERCOT. ERCOT manages the grid, a matrix of power transmission lines interconnected with coal, nuclear and natural gas power generators located throughout the state. Wind and solar energy also connect with the ERCOT-managed grid.
Darby said he has been answering hundreds of inquiries from his offices since the blackouts began. He added that ERCOT has no estimates as to when power will be restored across the state or within his district as millions are forced to endure sub-freezing outside air temperatures from the winter storm that blew across the state over the weekend.
Darby said Gov. Greg Abbott has called for a review of ERCOT as an emergency item for the current legislative session now ongoing. By denoting the review an emergency, the legislature will take up the ERCOT matter before addressing other legislative items originally scheduled for this session that started in January. The Texas Legislature meets every other year unless the governor calls for an emergency session.
Darby said many constituents have expressed concern that electricity prices will skyrocket to pay for fixes to the Texas power grid. “I will not support this -- now is absolutely not the time to increase prices on those who are impacted by a failure beyond their control,” Darby promised.
Darby said in a meeting with ERCOT today the commissioners said because of the continuing freezing temperatures, many of the power plants that dropped offline are still frozen and it will take time to retire them.
“ERCOT is working to restore power but acknowledged it could be days before the state’s power system is repaired,” Darby said.
In the meantime Darby asked his constituents to conserve electricity if you have power.
"If you do not have power, please look to local services to help with charging stations, water, and hot food. Several warming centers have been set up in the Concho Valley to assist residents. Please stay safe and check on your friends and neighbors,” he said.