As millions lose power, Texas Gov. Abbott declares ERCOT reform an emergency item

As more than four million Texans face winter storms without power on Tuesday, State Gov. Greg Abbott declares the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session.

The governor made the announcement on Tuesday morning.

Power outages: 4.1M Texans without power; check your area as energy conservation urged

4.1 million Texans are without power, as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.

ERCOT manages the flow of electric power to more than 26 million Texas customers, representing about 90% of the state's electric load.

As the sole operator for the region, ERCOT schedules power on an electric grid that connects more than 46,500 miles of transmission lines and more than 680 generation units.

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Gov. Abbott is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT and ensure Texans never again experience power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.

Texplainer: Why does Texas have its own power grid?

Basically, Texas has its own grid to avoid dealing with — you guessed it — the feds. But grid independence has been violated a few times over the years — not even counting Mexico's help during last week's blackouts.

"The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours," said Gov. Abbott. "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."

The governor hopes that by making this an emergency item, the state legislature can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions.

According to CenterPoint Energy, they were able to restart the process of rotating outages Monday night but the process was halted due to another ERCOT order to reduce electric delivery.


How to stay warm and safe during a winter storm power outage

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