AUSTIN, Texas — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is once again telling Texas to conserve energy, citing high generator outages and “higher-than-forecasted” demand which may lead the organization to enter “emergency conditions.”
While ERCOT says it does not expect outages and that declaring an emergency would allow them time to access more resources, the escalation is a reminder that the state’s Republican-designed deregulated electric grid is woefully unprepared to handle the next weather crisis.
Just two months ago, millions of Texas had their power shut off for days amid freezing temperatures. Nearly 200 deaths have been attributed to the loss of power during those days.
The failures of Gov. Greg Abbott during the winter storm in February serve as a reminder that our leaders must get serious about the climate crisis. Texas leads the nation in weather disasters. From 2010 to 2020, the state experienced 67 extreme weather events, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
While Republicans in Texas have failed for the last 20 years to maintain and weatherize our state’s infrastructure, Democrats are tackling the climate crisis and making sure we are prepared for the next big storm.
President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will invest $50 billion to improve the state’s chronically underfunded infrastructure and support disaster recovery. The President’s plan will also upgrade low-income homes in Texas to make them more energy-efficient through assistance programs and tax credits to support upgrades.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement:
“Texans are thinking: you have got to be kidding! Just two months after the failure of Texas’ Abbott-run energy system led to the death of nearly 200 Texans, ERCOT is warning that Texans may, yet again, be dealing with a government failure on a catastrophic scale. Abbott’s inability to protect Texans still reeling from a crisis is deplorable. We cannot afford to give him another term in office.
“Governor Abbott has completely mismanaged crisis after crisis and is more focused on pleasing Donald Trump and his allies than managing the state’s resources or protecting our own people. He must immediately get this situation under control and treat the climate crisis with the seriousness it deserves.”