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TX Gov Abbott Caught With His Thumb On the Scale in ERCOT Price Boosting Scheme

TX Gov Abbott Caught With His Thumb On the Scale in ERCOT Price Boosting Scheme

Greg Abbott is having a bad news day.

Aside from his attacking transgender children, it was revealed that the Republican Texas Governor ordered power prices to stay at the maximum price cap for days on end during last year’s frigid winter storm and blackout, running up billions of dollars in bills for power companies.

AUSTIN, TX – JUNE 08: Texas Governor Greg Abbott attends a press conference where he signed Senate Bills 2 and 3 at the Capitol on June 8, 2021 in Austin, Texas. Governor Abbott signed the bills into law to reform the Electric Reliability Council of Texas and weatherize and improve the reliability of the state’s power grid. The bill signing comes months after a disastrous February winter storm that caused widespread power outages and left dozens of Texans dead. (Photo by Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

The Houston Chronicle reported on Wednesday that the decision to keep power prices at the maximum cap is now at the center of a bankruptcy trial waged by the Waco-based electric co-op Brazos Electric. Brazos contends that decision was made recklessly, adding up to a $1.9 billion power bill from ERCOT that forced them into bankruptcy.

Bill Magness, the former CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said even as power plants were starting to come back online, former Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker had told him that Abbott wanted them to “do whatever was necessary” to prevent further rotating blackouts that left millions of Texans without power.

Magness, who was fired last year, has long defended his and other ERCOT officials’ actions as “necessary to keep the grid from slipping into a total blackout that could take weeks or months to recover from”. But in testimony in federal bankruptcy court in Houston Tuesday and Wednesday, he explained in detail how Walker had come to ERCOT’s operations center in the middle of the crisis and relayed to him Abbott’s demand that rotating blackouts come to an end.

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Read the full Houston Chronicle profile here.

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