AUSTIN, Texas — With Texans gearing up for the holiday season, winter is officially around the corner. However, Texas remains woefully unprepared for what the winter weather might bring — because ten months after February’s devastating winter power outages, failed Gov. Greg Abbott is hellbent on leaving our grid as disaster-prone as ever.
Over the weekend, the Texas Tribune reported that ERCOT, the governing body responsible for Texas’ grid, estimates a cold snap could easily trigger further power outages across the state — despite preparations power companies have made for the winter weather. Further, the Tribune revealed that “The calculations for severe risk this winter show that it wouldn’t take a storm as bad as the one in February, when hundreds of people died, to take the grid offline.”
During the February 2021 power outages, millions went without power, heat, and water for days, while nearly 700 Texans died. Despite these stark numbers, Abbott has done exactly nothing to fix the grid during almost a year of opportunity to do so — instead accepting a million dollar check from energy tycoon Kelcy Warren in exchange for leaving Texans at the mercy of our failing grid. Meanwhile, pricing from February’s outages is being passed off to consumers on Abbott’s watch — putting Texans on the hook for paying for Abbott’s failures.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Holiday season is upon us, and that means winter’s not far away. Yet despite the devastating power outages we went through last February, Greg Abbott has done exactly nothing to fix our grid and keep us safe from the next winter storm. Now, ERCOT is telling us that our grid is just as shaky as ever going into the winter weather — and that it will take less than a storm like February’s to send our grid into collapse.
“Abbott has had ten months and four legislative sessions to fix our grid in time for winter. He’s had every opportunity to take meaningful action and keep Texans safe from future disasters. He made the choice not to — and that choice tells us everything we need to know about where Abbott’s priorities lie. Abbott has already made a million dollars off his big energy donors in exchange for leaving our grid — and Texans — vulnerable. On top of that, the costs of Abbott’s failure are being passed on to Texans. Abbott’s been bought, and the next time a storm comes, Texans will be the ones paying for it — with their pocketbooks and with their safety.”