Temple: Lawmaker discusses near meltdown of Texas power grid
TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) – State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, who sits on the Texas House Energy Committee, says officials have only scratched the surface of the multitude of failures that led to power outages across the state earlier this month.
He made the comments during a town hall Monday hosted by the Temple Chamber of Commerce Monday morning.
Darby joined State Rep. Hugh Shine, R-Temple, to give an update on the Legislature’s plans for improving the power grid in Texas.
Darby was part of hearings late last week during which lawmakers questioned the leaders of ERCOT and utility companies on the catastrophic failure.
“We had a hearing on Thursday that lasted over 15 hours and we recessed and came back Friday and were there for another 12 hours” Darby said.
One factor in the lengthy power outages for thousands of Texans was failure of operators to winterize generating plants.
“We’ve made choices to prepare for the extraordinary hot summers we have here in Texas that we have every year, absolutely we prepare for that and they prepare for that,” Darby said.
But what he says they weren’t prepared for, was a winter storm as long and widespread as the historic freeze.
“We’re going to change that dynamic so there’s a lot of talk about what we can do and will do and what we have the appetite to do,” he said.
Darby says another problem was communication.
He says ERCOT had to have seen the issues with the power grid coming, but left Texans in the dark in terms of information.
“There was a failure, an utter failure, to communicate that this was not a rolling blackout situation as that term was used, your power was going to be off for a period of time.”
He and other lawmakers are working to address the issues as quickly as possible because the extreme heat of summer returns before we know it, which could strain the grid again.
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