Home Latest News Greg Abbott signs bills to update power grid after deadly winter storm

Greg Abbott signs bills to update power grid after deadly winter storm


Texas governor Greg Abbott signed two billss With the aim of strengthening the power grid of the state after the severe winter on Tuesday. storm in February.

“During a winter storm, many Texans were left without heat or electricity for days on end, and I immediately reformed [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] and to weather the emergency items of the power system,” Abbott said in a press release. “We made a promise not to leave the session until these problems are fixed, and I am proud to say that we have delivered on that promise. performed.”

According to Fox 4 in Dallas, Senate Bill 3 requires power generation facilities, natural gas facilities and transmission facilities to weather fines of up to $1 million to handle extreme weather.

Under Senate Bill 2, the Texas Energy Reliability Council would be required to improve communication between state agencies and industry during hurricanes. The bill also introduces “significant” reforms to the ERCOT, which consists of 8 fully independent members of the 11-member board.

According to Fox 4, state politicians will have a bigger role in deciding who sits on the board, which will be reduced to 16 members.

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“I’m very proud of the legislature and what we were able to accomplish in a very short amount of time just to make sure that when you turn on the light switch,” Republican State Sen. Charles Schwartner said. For Fox 4.

Some experts said the law is a good start but it is not enough.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a news conference where he signed two energy-related bills Tuesday, June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Abbott signed the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) into law to reform and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Rice University professor Daniel Kohn told Fox 4 that the state could still face a blackout several days into the future.

He said the three keys are “addressing supply, addressing demand and addressing the transmission that moves electricity between them. This bill actually addresses the supply piece and is not enough to ensure that Supplies are completely protected against extreme events.

In February, at least 150 people died in power outages for nearly five million homes and businesses.

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Experts say the necessary weatherization could cost billions and the bill does not address funding. Weathering will not be needed until 2022.

“Ultimately, we’re going to pay for it,” said UT Austin energy professor Michael Weber station. “The details of whether it’s taxpayers or taxpayers are very important, but the system is going to pay for it. When California had the energy crisis in 2000-2001, it took them 20 years to pay off the debt.”

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