Yesterday, the Texas Senate acted, passing Senate Bill 2142 in record time, underscoring my commitment and the commitment of the Texas Senate to do the right thing by directing the Public Utilities Commissioner (PUC) and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to correct billions in pricing errors that occurred during the February 15 winter storm. I held a press conference at the Texas Capitol after the Senate passed the bill that provides the details. You can click here to watch the video.
After the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence met last Thursday for over five hours, it was obvious to me that when ERCOT continued the $9,000 a megawatt hour billing after the threat to the electric grid had passed, they had made an error that must corrected. I don’t know who the winners or the losers were from the error, but I do know that it is wrong.
Carrie Bivins, the Independent Market Manager for ERCOT, recommended that the $9,000 pricing be taken down once the grid crisis had passed, but she told the Senate Jurisprudence Committee that ERCOT ignored her.
Meanwhile, the chair of the PUC told the Senate Jurisprudence Committee that he didn’t have the authority to change the pricing, even though he testified that he had changed pricing in the past. His testimony was all over the map and raised so many questions that I took a step I have only taken one other time since I have been Lt. Governor – I joined the Senate Jurisprudence Committee and questioned Mr. D’Andrea myself. You can watch my questioning of him here.
What I learned during the hearing made it clear to me that Mr. D’Andrea should step down as PUC Chair, and I called on him to resign. We cannot have someone who lacks both honesty and competence overseeing our electrical grid. Here are the details of what the Senate Jurisprudence Committee learned.
When Mr. D’Andrea refused to resign, it made it imperative that we pass legislation to direct the PUC and ERCOT to correct the pricing. That’s why I moved immediately to pass SB 2142.
More Hypocrisy from ERCOT
It is an outrage that ERCOT is now claiming they do not have to turn over records related to the winter storm. I have asked that all documents be sent to my office and Chair Joan Huffman at Senate Jurisprudence, immediately. The Texas Senate will subpoena if ERCOT fails to comply.
Meanwhile — Biden’s Border Disaster Continues
An overwhelming amount of migrants are pouring into the United States every day – and the Biden administration won’t even call it a crisis. I was on Fox News with Sean Hannity and Lara Logan to talk about it. Click here to watch.
I also joined Brian Kilmeade on his radio show Thursday morning to talk about Biden’s border disaster. Click here to listen.
Please continue to keep our state and our nation in your prayers. Pray for the families who have lost loved ones to coronavirus and for our heroic health care workers. And, as always, keep our brave law enforcement officers in your prayers. May God bless you and your family, and may He continue to bless the greatest state of all—Texas.
Lieutenant Governor of Texas