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Texas mayors pen letter demanding answers from ERCOT

"Our residents deserve answers -- and they deserve reliable energy for their homes and businesses."

SAN ANTONIO — More than a dozen Texas mayors penned a joint leader to the president and CEO of the state's grid management company demanding answers for the dayslong energy crisis that left millions without power in the wake of winter storms across the state.

In the letter, the mayors called out the "protocols and policies" set forth by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which the mayors said "did not see to take into consideration exposure to sustained freezing temperatures."

"Our residents deserve answers -- and they deserve reliable energy for their homes and businesses," the letter reads while urging state leaders to examine the measures ERCOT enacted that left Texas cities without power and water for days. "How ERCOT chose to manage the grid during the extended cold weather led to unpredictable and inconsistent blackouts across our cities, contradicting the experience that our communities were prepared to endure."

Mayors from San Antonio, Arlington, Houston, Fort Worth, Austin, Plano, Amarillo, Sugar Land, Laredo, Corpus Christi, McKinney, McAllen, Irving, Pharr, and Galveston signed the letter.

Read the full letter below:

More than a dozen Texas mayors penned a joint leader to the president and CEO of the state's grid management company demanding answers for the dayslong energy crisis that left millions without power in the wake of winter storms across the state.

Dear Mr. Magness,

Our cities have worked around the clock to address our residents’ needs during this emergency. Our infrastructure has been challenged, damaged and unresponsive at the time of our highest need.

As a result, it has become painfully clear that our communities were made vulnerable by numerous decisions by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ leadership. ERCOT’s grid management protocols and policies during the cold weather did not seem to take into consideration exposure to sustained freezing temperatures. Additionally, how ERCOT chose to manage the grid during the extended cold weather led to unpredictable and inconsistent blackouts across our cities, contradicting the experience that our communities were prepared to endure. At the same time, none of the information communicated by the agency aided our ability to prepare or support our residents, some of whom continue to experience multiple days without electricity. We are also concerned that the current fiscal models and business plans that ground ERCOT’s partnership with our utilities seems to prioritize revenue generation over other similarly important priorities.

We urge state leaders to thoroughly examine the policies and decisions that left our cities and the entire state vulnerable during this week’s extreme weather event. ERCOT’s processes and protocols need a full public airing as well as action from state leadership that will prevent this type of disaster in the future. Perhaps no one is better equipped to communicate the devasting impacts of the storm on Texans than those of us at local level, and we offer our cooperation and collaboration to find meaningful solutions. Our residents deserve answers -- and they deserve reliable energy for their homes and businesses.

We are confident that you agree ERCOT’s deficiencies must be addressed, and we urge you to act as soon as possible. Texans are counting on their elected leadership to provide solutions.