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How to sign up to make public comment as Texas Legislature discusses statewide electrical blackouts

Discussion in the Texas House is slated for Thursday, Feb. 25.

AUSTIN, Texas — There are no doubt millions of Texans are angry about the massive, statewide electrical grid failure last week as a severe winter storm froze the state for days and forced blackouts amid below-freezing temperatures.

Gov. Greg Abbott previously announced that he would call for an emergency item to get to the bottom of the issue. By doing so, he’s calling for an investigation into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, to come up with solutions to make sure the state never experiences such a disaster again.

On Thursday, Feb. 25, at 9 a.m., the Texas House will be discussing the statewide blackouts, the contributing factors and the response. And you can play a role in that.

Texas residents can now make public comments to the respective House committees related to the matter. To qualify, individuals must:

  • acknowledge they are a Texas residence
  • acknowledge that the comments will be distributed to members of respective House committees and made publically available
  • affirm that comments submitted are true, and that false statements could constitute a criminal offense

To sign up and submit your commentary, click here.

Texas lawmakers are set to hear from officials with ERCOT, the Railroad Commission and the Public Utility Commission. However, the public comment will not be in-person or virtual.

Progress Texas is hoping to change that.

“The power grid failure was a man-made disaster,” said Ed Espinoza, executive director at Progress Texas. “It was the result of decades of deregulation and greed made possible by policies supported by Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican legislators. While ERCOT needs to answer for its failures, Abbott and Republican legislators also need to answer for the massive failure of their policies. People died and millions of lives were upended. Texans deserve to have their say before our representatives and that should be fully accessible via online testimony.”

The nonprofit group says the House only allowing short, public, written comments is good but not good enough.

"Republicans are likely to use ERCOT as the sole scapegoat, but ERCOT would not be able to operate in this manner without the support of the governor and the legislative majority," the group said. "It’s imperative that legislators give Texans the option to testify safely and hold all parties accountable."

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