Texas, we have a grid problem

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Someone needs to answer for the fact millions of Texans were without power during lethally cold weather.

Scores of people in Gillespie County, mostly seniors, sought help for health crises caused by the cold and lack of electricity.

Business owners, already reeling from COVID-19 and the restrictions on commerce imposed to slow its spread, were forced to shutter, adding to their financial burden.

This catastrophic failure of the state’s power grid was no mere inconvenience. It’s also not an ideological question.

We can argue on some warm day this spring about whether shaggy tree-huggers, or rapacious corporatists or something else altogether, was mostly to blame.

The bottom line is, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, whose sole reason for existence is to ensure the reliable delivery of power to ratepayers, failed spectacularly because of cold weather much of the country deals with as a matter of course every winter all winter long.

Texas ratepayers, taxpayers and residents deserve to know what went wrong, who allowed it to go wrong and how state lawmakers intend to ensure nothing like it happens again.

This debacle was not caused by failure of local or regional power equipment. People were left in the lethal cold for hours on end because of administrative decisions to shut off the power for what amounted to days, in some cases.

It apparently was a matter of more demand for electricity than the state’s power generators could provide.

Everybody from the governor on down should be demanding answers about how Texas, regarded by some as the energy capital of the nation, got in such feeble condition.

Lawmakers have a big stake in getting to the root of the problem. No matter how much time they spend telling people what a haven for business Texas presents, this event tells a different story. What the disaster says loud and clear is that Texas is a fair-weather state with a huge problem. – Edited from The Galveston Daily News