As the Texas power grid continues to reel from a historic winter storm, many are questions about how the state could have been better prepared. Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont) is now calling for a house committee hearing to look into what happened.
Phelan announced in a press release that the House State Affairs and Energy Resources Committees will be holding a joint hearing to review the factors that lead to grid failures and widespread blackouts.
“I am asking these two committees to convene a joint meeting on February 25 for the express purpose of helping Texans understand what went wrong and how we can prevent these conditions from happening again,” Phelan stated. “We must cut through the finger-pointing and hear directly from stakeholders about the factors that contributed to generation staying down at a time when families needed it most, what our state can do to correct these issues, and what steps regulators and grid operators are taking to safeguard our electric grid.”
“The statewide blackouts raise questions about the reliability of our electric grid and its ability to withstand extreme weather events in the future,” House State Affairs Committee Chairman Chris Paddie (R-Marshall) was quoted saying in the press release.
Texas is the only continental U.S. state to have its own power grid, with most of the state overseen by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. Relatively little attention has been paid by the legislature to Texas’ aging power grid in past sessions. However, the fact that politicians are now talking about grid security could mean that is about to change with millions of Texans cold, angry, and in the dark.