For more than 15 hours, lawmakers asked tough questions about what caused the state’s power system to fail. The outages left more than a dozen people dead and countless homeowners are trying to fix busted pipes.
During the first day of hearings, Texas legislators heard from the chair of the Texas Railroad Commission, Christi Craddick who said ERCOT did not fully understand that cutting power to certain areas of natural gas production was compounding problems, and there needed to be better communication about priorities during outages.
Craddick’s testimony countered ERCOT CEO Bill Magness’s reports that freezing temperatures and precipitation are what unexpectedly knocked dozens of power plants offline, and natural gas was hit harder than most. Craddick fought back those claims.
“When you ask if we have enough gas in this state, the answer is yes, if we can keep the electricity on,” Craddick said. “Time and time again, the number one problem we heard from our operators was the lack of power at their production sites.”
Magness said his team warned the power company about the damage frigid temperatures can cause.
“We saw the danger and we continued to amp the communications with the people who are really going to operate and manage the grid during that time,” Magness said.
With a tense day, one in the books, day two of hearings will pick back up Friday at 9 a.m.