New York Daily News

Texas energy board members resign in wake of catastrophic deep-freeze power grid failure

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 24/02/2021 03:24:29 Theresa Braine

Four members have resigned from the board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which oversees 90% of Texas's electricity, in the wake of devastating power outages in a deep freeze that killed dozens across the state.

Chairwoman Sally Talberg, Vice Chairman Peter Cramton, Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Terry Bulger. and Human Resources and Governance Committee Chairman Raymond Hepper put out a joint statement declaring their intent to resign at a Wednesday meeting, reported NBC News.

a close up of a tower: FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 file photo shows power lines in Houston. A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the Midwest and other regions following severe winter storms that plunged Texas and other states into a deep freeze that caused power outages in million of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) © David J. PhillipFILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 file photo shows power lines in Houston. A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the Midwest and other regions following severe winter storms that plunged Texas and other states into a deep freeze that caused power outages in million of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 file photo shows power lines in Houston. A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the Midwest and other regions following severe winter storms that plunged Texas and other states into a deep freeze that caused power outages in million of homes and businesses. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip/)

"To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board effective after our urgent board teleconference meeting adjourns on Wednesday, February 24, 2021," the statement obtained by NBC News said.

The directors, plus another who had been vying to fill an empty spot but has since withdrawn from consideration, all live out of state, KXAS-TV noted.

The resignations follow a torturous week during which more than 4.5 million customers were without power at one point, as KTRK-TV reported. People warmed blankets in their cars, melted snow to flush their toilets, and lost their water supply as pipes burst - all while they huddled in the cold and dark.

a train covered in snow: FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2021, file photo, traffic is sparse on the snow-covered Interstate 45 near The Woodlands Parkway following an overnight snowfall in The Woodlands, Texas. Temperatures plunged into the teens Monday with light snow and freezing rain. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File) © Provided by New York Daily NewsFILE - In this Feb. 15, 2021, file photo, traffic is sparse on the snow-covered Interstate 45 near The Woodlands Parkway following an overnight snowfall in The Woodlands, Texas. Temperatures plunged into the teens Monday with light snow and freezing rain. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2021, file photo, traffic is sparse on the snow-covered Interstate 45 near The Woodlands Parkway following an overnight snowfall in The Woodlands, Texas. Temperatures plunged into the teens Monday with light snow and freezing rain. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP, File) (Brett Coomer/)

Texas disaster: Polar vortex plunges Lone Star state into wintry nightmare without power, water and answers

Gov. Greg Abbott said resigning was the right thing to do for the directors, and along with other state officials had called for their resignations a week earlier, reported The Texas Tribune.

"When Texans were in desperate need of electricity, ERCOT failed to do its job, and Texans were left shivering in their homes without power," Abbott said in a statement Tuesday. "ERCOT leadership made assurances that Texas' power infrastructure was prepared for the winter storm, but those assurances proved to be devastatingly false. The lack of preparedness and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable, and I welcome these resignations."

The state legislature is scheduled to start hearings on Thursday into what went wrong, reported KXAS. Dozens of people died, though exact number may not be known for weeks or months, The Texas Tribune reported.

Abbott vowed to get to the bottom of the issue.

"The State of Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and uncover the full picture of what went wrong, and we will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated," he said.

At least one family is suing energy officials over the death of an 11-year-old boy, who his family believes died of hypothermia as the family slept.

24. helmikuuta 2021 5:24:29 Categories: New York Daily News

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