The governor of Texas welcomes the resignations, saying that ERCOT’s “lack of preparation and transparency” is unacceptable.
Officials at the Texas power grid operator responsible for providing electricity to more than 26 million people across the U.S. are resigning after a winter storm cut off electricity and water at millions of people and resulted in dozens of deaths.
Four members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) board of directors are resigning, effective Wednesday, a day before Texas lawmakers begin hearings over the massive power outage.
All of the resigning board members, including the president, live outside Texas – a fact that has drawn even stronger criticism from the operator.
In a joint resignation letter to members of the network and to the State Utilities Commission, which oversees ERCOT, they said their decision to step down was “to give free rein to state leaders in future direction and eliminate distractions ”.
Historical snowfall and single-digit temperatures in Texas last week millions of people without electricity or water for days.
The storm was part of any frozen explosion that has been blamed for at least 80 deaths.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott placed much of the blame for the outages on ERCOT, but the problems went beyond the operator as power plants were taken offline by extreme cold and producers natural gas did not protect the wellheads from freezing.
Abbott on Tuesday welcomed the resignations of the ERCOT board, saying “the organization’s lack of preparation and transparency … is unacceptable.”
“The State of Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and uncover a full picture of what went wrong, and we will ensure that the disastrous events of the past week are never repeated,” he said. he said in a statement shared on social networks.
Although temperatures have warmed across Texas and power has been restored for most residents of the state, more than 15,000 homes have remained without power Tuesday, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages across the United States.
The deep freeze also prevented many households from having access to safe drinking water, forcing state officials to set up bottled water distribution points statewide.
Many wonder how the disaster has happened, and there are more and more calls to be held to account and to take concrete action to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
In an interview with CBS on Sunday, the mayor of Houston Sylvester turner said the disaster was “predictable and preventable”.
Turner also said the state must take responsibility for any sky-high electricity costs residents may be billed.