• Texas was minutes and maybe seconds from being without power for months due to snowfall
  • The Texas Electrical Reliability Council shut down generators during the storm so they wouldn’t blow out
  • Now the Texas Congress wants to ask “tough questions” of whoever is responsible for that winter crisis

Texas without light. Texas was minutes, maybe seconds, from running out of power not just for several days, but for several months after the snowfall.

Bill Magness, president of the Texas Electrical Reliability Council (ERCOT, for its acronym in English), accepted that the tragedy could be much worse during the brutal cold storm that hit the state for several days.

Magness explained in a press conference that ERCOT engineers suddenly cut off the power on Monday, February 15, 2021, to prevent the distribution transformers from overloading.

For several days as the snow hit Texas, from Monday 15 to Thursday 18, at least four million people were without power to heat their homes in the face of the brutal cold wave.

Criticism in Texas has come against ERCOT from various quarters to point out that the organization, licensed under the state government to operate energy, was not prepared to handle the crisis.

However, Magness defended the decision of its engineers and assured that while several blackouts were accidental, those that were caused were carried out to avoid an “indeterminately long” crisis, he explained.

Magness said the power-conserving measure prevented transformers from collapsing in a matter of minutes, which would have caused blackouts “that would have occurred for months” until equipment was replaced.

Bill Magness’s explanation comes as the state recovers little by little, and with great pain, from one of the great and historical tragedies due to the brutal snowfall that left dozens dead and many from freezing.

Despite the sun and temperatures rising, the brigades continue to remove the snow that was piled up on Texas roads. (Photo: Texas Department of Transportation)

In Texas political, civic and human rights circles, dozens of voices are raised to demand that ERCOT and Governor Greg Abbott explain why the state was not ready to prevent tragedy.

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The National Metereological Service (NWS, for its acronym in English) warned since Saturday, February 6, 2021, more than a week before, of the brutal and historical snow that would fall on Texas and the havoc it could cause.

Precisely for this reason, one of the most critical voices of the work of ERCOT and Governor Abbot has been that of Juan ‘Chuy’ Hinojosa, Congressman from Texas representing District 20 in the southeastern state.

“What is happening in our state is unacceptable,” said Hinojosa, in a statement sent to MundoHispánico, in which he warns that he will ask the Texas Congress to hold ERCOT to account.

The government granted ERCOT the management of electric power through the Texas Public Utility Commission (PUCT, for its acronym in English), which must supervise its functions.

Filed Under: Texas Without Light

The electricity companies, which offer the service to the users, are the ones that take the supply directly from what ERCOT provides them.

Congressman Hinojosa, from the Democratic Party, explained that a group of legislators from the Senate Jurisprudence Committee will call on the leaders of ERCOT, PUCT and Abbott himself to answer “difficult questions.”

According to Hinojosa, “Governor Abbott has made ERCOT reform an emergency issue and we will have hearings to address all the issues… that should have prevented this crisis. “

Hinojosa pointed out that Texas’ economically generated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) represents the ninth largest economy in the world, over dozens of countries, and a winter storm should not have caused such damage.

“Uhe winter storm should not have to completely shut down our economy and expose our Texas families to this health risk and suffering, ”added Senator Hinojosa.

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Filed Under: Texas Without Light

The Texas government recognized that at least 69 people died in the state in direct relation to the snowstorm, whether it was a death from hypothermia, frostbite or from breathing in carbon monoxide when trying to heat their home.

James Talarico, a senator for District 52 in the Texas Congress, demanded from his fellow legislators that ERCOT must face the consequences of its actions, including through the legal path, in the face of dozens of deaths and economic loss.

Talarico, the youngest congressman with 31 years of age, said in an interview to the television network Cable News Network (CNN) that the thousands of human stories were tragic during the historic snowfall.

“I heard stories in my county (Williamson County) of mothers who held their babies to their breast for hours to keep them warm, in Texas, in the 21st century, in the United States,” Talarico lamented.

Filed Under: Texas Without Light

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MundoHispánico is the number one digital media company in Spanish in the United States that operates independently.

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Filed Under: Texas Without Light


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