Board leaders of Texas' grid operator resign after outages

Snow plough in Texas

Snow plough in Texas

The mayors of two of the largest cities in Texas, Sylvester Turner of Houston and Betsy Price of Fort Worth, said that the state should help to pay some of the enormously high energy bills sent to residents after the destructive deadly winter storm that triggered widespread blackouts.

People are able to pay wholesale prices in Texas because it's one of the only states that lets people pick which company it buys power from, Rhodes said. ERCOT has come under fire, notably from Governor Greg Abbott, who has pointed out at public press conferences that the power grid operator said they were ready for the winter storm last week.

"We look forward to working with the Texas Legislature, and we thank the outgoing Board Members for their service", ERCOT wrote in an unsigned statement.

The resignations are effective Wednesday, following a board meeting. "We'll just have to work through it and see", Price said. During the crisis, ERCOT officials removed contact information for board members off its website, saying they had become the target of threats.

Over the last few days, Twitter has been full of people warning their fellow Texans to take their utility accounts off of auto-pay, especially those on variable-rate plans, where the price of electricity varies based on demand. Talberg lives in MI and Bulger lives in Wheaton, Illinois, according to their biographies on ERCOT's website. Mr. Cramton and Mr.

Congresswoman Stefanik calls for Gov. Cuomo to resign
In December 2020, Andrew Cuomo stated that all claims & allegations against him by Lindsey Boylan are just " not true ". At the time, Boylan tweeted that she had "no interest in talking to journalists" about her allegations of mistreatment.

On Sunday, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a pair of orders directing energy companies to temporarily halt disconnects due to non-payment and stop sending bill estimates to customers. The fifth board member leaving is Vanessa Anesetti-Parra. The board does not engage in the day-to-day operations of ERCOT but has tremendous responsibility over its broader administration. Because natural gas pipelines and wind turbines froze up in Texas, there was less power available, but high demand for electricity, causing wholesale prices to shoot up, said Joshua Rhodes, an energy research associate at the University of Texas. The storm was part of any icy blast across the Deep South that is blamed for at least 80 deaths. But the problems were wider than ERCOT, including power plants that were knocked offline by the extreme cold and natural gas producers didn't protect wellheads from freezing.

In place of federal oversight, Texas's energy grid is governed by ERCOT.

ERCOT is a nonprofit governed by a board of directors, but ultimately overseen by the Public Utility Commission. Fifteen members serve on the ERCOT board, including the five unaffiliated director positions. Mr. Bulger got $65,250 and worked an average of eight hours a week. Three others on the board at the time were paid between $92,600 and $100,100, though it was not immediately known how many hours they worked.

Mr. Cramton, whose page on the professional networking site LinkedIn lists him as living in California, declined comment when contacted on Tuesday. Talberg, Hepper and Bulger didn't immediately respond to requests for a comment.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.