Texas House approves reforms to state power grid in aftermath of February winter storm

Source(s): Austin American-Statesman

By Asher Price


Measures aimed at shoring up the Texas electric grid in the aftermath of a February storm, which left millions of Texans in the dark and desperately cold, flew through the Texas House on Tuesday. The legislation, aimed at addressing a calamity that left more than 110 Texans dead, saw widespread support with lawmakers from both political parties keen to show constituents they're tackling the problem.


"The Texas House today took important first steps in passing critical, essential reforms in the aftermath of Winter Storm Uri," House Speaker Dade Phelan, R-Beaumont, said in a statement. "The actions taken by the House will help restore confidence in our critical infrastructure after the catastrophic mismanagement of our electric grid last month. The House's legislative package will reform (the Electric Reliability Council of Texas), ensure the reliability of our grid in extreme weather conditions, defend ratepayers, and improve coordination during times of crisis."


House Bill 11, which requires utilities to "implement measures to prepare facilities to maintain service quality and reliability during an extreme weather emergency" doesn't spell out who will pay for winterization, but a fiscal note attached to the bill by the state Legislative Budget Board says that "it is assumed that the costs associated with the bill's provisions relating to the extreme weather emergency preparedness of facilities for providing electric service could be absorbed using existing resources."


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