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February 18, 2021      4:43 PM

Federal energy regulators raise doubts about Texas' go-it-alone strategy on electricity

FERC Chair Glick says Congress and state government should rethink ERCOT: “Does it really make sense to isolate yourself and limit your ability to get power from neighboring regions, just to keep FERC at bay? That strikes me as the proverbial cutting off your nose to spite your face.”

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Richard Glick called recent days without electric power in Texas “a humanitarian crisis” and said federal officials were ready to make sure that any recommendations to ERCOT are not simply “a plan sitting on a shelf.”

Texas does have some pride in having its standalone power grid, as evidenced by comments from former Gov. Rick Perry, who used a post on Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s website to bash the new Biden Administration’s priorities.

“We are at the same amount of power needed in the state today as we were in Augustin of 2020, which was the highest megawatt usage in Texas History,” said Perry, who served as US Energy Secretary. “If wind and solar is where we’re headed, the last 48 hours ought to give everybody a real pause.”

Texas needs a baseload, and the only way the country can get a baseload is with natural gas, coal and nuclear energy, Perry said. In truth, ERCOT relied heavily on contracts with natural gas to carry the state’s power grid through the recent cold snap, only to have lines and valves freeze in the sub-zero wind chill.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and sister organization North American Electric Reliability Corporation – known as FERC and NERC – announced an investigation into the ERCOT’s failures this week.

By Kimberly Reeves

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