Five of Texas’s ERCOT board members resign after massive power grid outage during winter storm
Summary List PlacementFive board members including the chair of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas will resign on Wednesday.
ERCOT Board Chair Sally Talberg, Board Vice Chair Peter Cramton, Finance and Audit Committee Chair Terry Bulger, and Human Resources and Governance Committee Chair Raymond Hepper submitted a joint letter of resignation on Tuesday, according to filings with the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
“Our hearts go out to all Texans who have had to go without electricity, heat, and water during frigid temperatures and continue to face the tragic consequences of this emergency,” Talberg, Cramton, Bulger, and Hepper said in their joint statement: “We have noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT. To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board.”
ERCOT operates about 90% of the state’s electric load.
Unprecedented winter storms pummeled Texas over the last two weeks, causing shutoffs to heat and power for over three million Texas residents. Federal regulators had previously issued warnings to the state about its preparedness for cold weather, but the suggested power plant upgrades were not mandatory.
“With the right follow-through, Texas can lead the nation in investing in infrastructure and emergency preparedness to withstand the effects of severe weather events—whether in the form of flooding, drought, extreme temperatures, or hurricanes,” they wrote. “We want what is best for ERCOT and Texas.”
The fifth board member, Vanessa Anesetti-Parra, director for the independent retail electric provider market segment, also sent a notice of resignation. A sixth individual, Craig Ivey, has withdrawn his application to the board.
Last week, ERCOT’s board was criticized after it was discovered that a third of the fifteen members did not live in the state, the Austin-American Statesman reported.
All five resigning members live out of state, as does Ivey.
In a statement, Gov. Greg Abbott who previously called on the organization’s leadership to resign said ERCOT “failed to do its job” during the storms and said the state will continue to investigate the nonprofit.
“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,” he said.
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