Former Texas Speaker of the House weighs in on statewide power failures

Texas Politics

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Former Speaker of the Texas House Dennis Bonnen spoke out Sunday about the current state of Texas and who is rightfully to blame for the power failure in the state.

According to Bonnen, Gov. Greg Abbott has handled the situation well, but the Energy Reliability Council of Texas let down the people.

“I think the governor has done a great job,” Bonnen said. “ERCOT is an independent nonprofit organization that is intended to have autonomy from elected leaders, and they have completely failed.”

Though Bonnen says ERCOT failed, he said it’s not completely their fault. The Public Utility Commission signed an order Sunday to direct energy providers to temporarily stop disconnecting customers from power or water if they haven’t paid.

“Don’t run and simply blame it on ERCOT,” Bonnen said. “ERCOT failed, but it is the legislature and our leaders job to fix ERCOT so we never have a failure of this type ever in the future. I’m proud to say they’re working around the clock to solve those problems.”

Abbott arranged an emergency meeting Saturday with lawmakers to discuss issues facing Texas. On Sunday, Abbott said over 3 million water bottles had been given out to Texans without them.

“It’s a very awkward situation, but I’m very proud to see Governor Abbott run to the front of this problem and trying to solve an issue that he doesn’t have direct responsibility over, other than the fact that he’s the governor of Texas and Texas is hurting,” Bonne said. “The governor should step up and lead, which is what Governor Abbott has done.”

Bonnen said an investigator will look into why ERCOT failed where others succeeded.

“Look at East Texas,” Bonnen said. “Tyler is in ERCOT, Longview is in SWEPCO. SWEPCO did a great job, you did not see them having the outages we saw in the ERCOT grid in Tyler.”

The widepsread outages left many with the question: is the Texas power grid still the way to go?

“I believe it’s the only way we really can do it,” Bonnen said. “But we have to make changes, obviously. They were unprepared, ERCOT failed, there’s no question about that.”

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