Gov. Abbott and other state lawmakers have loudly, and rightly, called for an investigation into ERCOT and the electrical problems of late. This should be easy. ERCOT is regulated by the 3 member board of the Public Utilities Commission, all appointed by the Governor, and the Texas Legislature who gives ERCOT it’s marching orders. Dr. David Tuttle, a research associate with the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin asserts, and the evidence seems to support, that the electric generating plants did not properly winterize their equipment.
A Little information on the Texas electric grid. There are three electric grids in the Lower 48 states: the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection — and Texas, called ERCOT. Why is Texas separate? In short, Texas has its own grid to avoid dealing with the feds. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act, which charged the Federal Power Commission with overseeing interstate electricity sales. By not crossing state lines, Texas utilities avoided being subjected to federal rules. Despite what current events might suggest, Texas’ grid has proven more reliable overall than the other two.