AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Governor Greg Abbott and state leaders will start an investigation this week into what caused the Texas electrical and utility grids to fail, leaving more than four million people without electricity for four days and half the state without water in freezing temperatures.
We already know what happened. Twenty years of Republican leadership and deregulation of Texas’ power grid led to this moment.
Yet, as several outlets have already pointed out, this means that Abbott will essentially be investigating his own administration since he is the head of state government and the person who appoints the people to oversee Texas’ electric grid system.
As the Texas Tribune noted, the crisis that Texas experienced last week was a man-made one in which Republican leadership deregulated the state’s energy grid and failed to implement the necessary upgrades and weatherization needed to keep it working even in freezing conditions.
The Washington Post wrote at length about the fact that Greg Abbott has been largely absent throughout the crisis — a pattern that we have seen from Hurricane Harvey to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Post even interviewed members of his own party that agree that this will have dire consequences for him in next year’s gubernatorial election.
Texas’ power grid and the mass suffering Texans have experienced is nothing but the result of a lack of leadership demonstrated by Texas Republicans.
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa issued a statement:
“This was not the first time a crisis has happened and Greg Abbott has failed. Crisis after crisis, all Republicans do is vow to investigate the very system that they have set up to fail. There is no accountability and, worse, no care or concern for our own people who were dying in inhabitable positions as our state leaders fled to warm beaches and luxurious resorts.
“Texans will not forget this man-made crisis that is still affecting tens of millions of families across the state. Greg Abbott is not protecting us from the abuses of a deregulated energy system, and he will fail to do so for the next emergency.
“Abbott, Paxton, and Cruz must resign. We need real leaders and not cowards to help our fellow Texans not only survive but thrive in our great state.”