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ERCOT board leaders resign as Texas lawmakers prepare to hold hearings on power outages

Winter Weather Texas Power Failures eletrical grid
Posted at 3:03 PM, Feb 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-23 17:03:55-05

AUSTIN, Texas — Four board members from Texas' power grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas, are resigning. They include the board chairman and vice chairman.

The announcement comes after more than 4 million customers across the state lost power during a deadly winter storm last week. ERCOT has come under fire, notably from Governor Greg Abbott, who has pointed out at public press conferences that the power grid operator said they were ready for the winter storm last week.

The board members who are stepping down live outside Texas.

"We have noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT. To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board," the statement from ERCOT reads.

The resignations are effective Wednesday, following a board meeting. Those leaving include Board Chairman Sally Talberg and Vice Chairman Peter Cramton.

This is just one day before state lawmakers will begin hearings about the outages.

A major disaster declaration has been issued by FEMA for all counties in Texas following the historically cold storm that hit the state and many parts of the south last week. The temperatures impacted power production and resulted in power outages.

The long stretch of below freezing temperatures also caused major issues with the state's drinking water systems. Millions had no access to potable water in addition to no electricity.