Throughout the cold blast of last week, much news was made about the fact that three of the key members of the board of the Electric (non) Reliability Council of Texas weren’t even from Texas. In fact, it turned out the chairman lives in Michigan, the vice-chair also lives out of state, along with one other member of the 15-member board.
Well, guess what? Those news reports actually understated the out-of-state issue with this board. Turns out that there were no fewer than five non-Texans running Texas’s power grid. Happily, each and every one one of them resigned yesterday, along with a sixth non-Texan who was scheduled to move onto the board in the coming weeks:
Five members of the board of directors at the entity that operates Texas’ electrical grid will resign from their posts on Wednesday, according to a notice posted to the Public Utility Commission website.
Board Chairwoman Sally Talberg, Vice Chairman Peter Cramton, and members Terry Bulger, Raymond Hepper and Vanessa Anesetti-Parra will all resign from their posts on Wednesday, during the next meeting of the board of directors of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT.
ERCOT has come under fire for its handling of widespread blackouts that left millions of Texans without power and water as the state faced subfreezing temperatures, snow and ice.
None of the five members resigning from their posts live in 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,” the letter reads. “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.”
Craig Ivey, who was set to fill a vacant position on the board, said in a separate letter that he was withdrawing his candidacy “in order to avoid becoming a distraction” due to his out-of-state residency.
Look, I love non-Texans, so don’t get me wrong here. But ERCOT is a quasi-government entity – technically a 501(c)(4) non-profit – that runs the grid that supplies 80% of the state with power. It reports directly to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). In a state with 28 million residents, it seems to most of us here in Texas that we ought to be able to find 15 actual Texans who know how to manage a power grid.
I mean, we don’t elect Michiganders to our state legislature, or Marylanders to serve as our governor, do we? The governor can’t appoint Californians or Alabamans to serve on our PUC, can he? We don’t have a Louisianan as our attorney general, even though that might end up being tons of fun and all manner of shenanigans.
At the end of the day, my one and only problem with these five folks leaving the board – from which they were likely to be fired, anyway – is that the number is not 15.
My suspicion is that, like any other semi-accountable board of this type, ERCOT’s board has become a big social club, a cushy assignment with a huge paycheck that none of its members take too seriously. I honestly can find no other explanation for the fact that, when this board met on February 9, as the first of 3 arctic fronts was already pouring into the state, it spent just 45 seconds (that’s not a typo) of a 2-hour meeting discussing preparation measures for what they already knew at that point would ultimately become a major winter weather event.
The fact that not one of the 15 members had a single question or concern about preparedness for such a major event that they wanted to raise in that meeting tells me that there are no serious people currently serving on that board.
So, 5 down and just 10 more to go. If they won’t voluntarily resign, then the PUC and Governor Abbott needs to resign them. In fact, after the clownshow Texans suffered through last week – with more than 70 human beings ending up dead – the entire organization needs to be demolished down to the studs and reconstituted. Only a bold move such as that will give Texans any comfort that we won’t just be living through a replay of last week again sometime in the near future.
Are you listening, Governor Abbott?
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.