Greg Abbott silent as electric power grid operator urges Texans to turn off appliances

Greg Abbott silent as electric power grid operator urges Texans to turn off appliances
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas
News & Politics

Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott is once again presiding over another energy crisis in the state that produces more natural gas than any other in the nation, but he hasn’t said a word. As temperatures rise the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which is in charge of Texas’ electricity – its power grid – is urging customers to turn off appliances, turn up their thermostats, and conserve energy.

In the winter of 2021 hundreds of Texans died because the grid failed. It couldn’t stand the cold temperatures.

There is now a possible danger of blackouts because, it seems, it can’t stand hot temperatures. On Monday The Dallas Morning News offered advice on “how to prepare for a blackout.”

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KLTV reports “ERCOT is asking Texans and Texas businesses to voluntarily conserve electricity, Monday, July 11 between 2-8 p.m. ERCOT also issued a Watch for a projected reserve capacity shortage from 2-8 p.m.” The ABC affiliate also says ERCOT is urging Texans to postpone running major appliances and turn their thermostats up to save energy.

Not a word from the Texas Governor, who has repeatedly promised the grid has been fixed since the winter storm killed hundreds.

In May of 2021, Buzzfeed reported the State of Texas put the official death toll from the failed electric grid the previous winter at 151 people. While huge, Buzzfeed reported the actual death toll was much higher. Its best estimate: 702 people.

One month later, in June of 2021, Abbott promised, “Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.”

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Abbott, who is running for re-election in a tight race against popular Democrat Beto O’Rourke, has been silent on the Texas energy crisis. The Governor’s social media accounts are focused on promoting his attacks against President Joe Biden, blasting him for what Abbott sees as a winning issue: being anti-immigrant and the border.

The governor of the 9th largest economy on earth — the energy capital of the world — can’t guarantee the power will stay on tomorrow. We need change,” O’Rourke said Sunday night. He added: “Remember Abbott’s grid failure that left millions without power and caused hundreds of our fellow Texans to lose their lives? After that crisis, Abbott took millions in campaign checks from energy CEOs that he allowed to profit off it. Helps explain why he won’t fix the grid.”

“We can’t rely on the grid when it’s hot. We can’t rely on the grid when it’s cold. We can’t rely on Greg Abbott. It’s time to vote him out and fix the grid,” O’Rourke also said, Monday.

The last time Abbott even mentioned ERCOT on social media was in early February when he praised the organization that was created to avoid federal regulations.

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“Compared to a year ago the grid now [has] 15 % more power-generation capacity,” Abbott announced. The Texas state legislature has oversight authority over ERCOT, as does the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). The Texas governor appoints three of the commission’s four board members.

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