SUGAR LAND, Texas – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick spoke strongly about the power outage debacle during a press conference in Sugar Land Monday morning.
This week, the Texas Senate and Texas House will launch an investigation into what went wrong, according to Patrick.
“I believe that ERCOT was not prepared. They told us they were ready. They obviously were not… if we must subpoena people to come and testify, we will do that,” said Patrick.
Ten years ago, the Texas legislature made recommendations for power companies to winterize their systems, according to Patrick.
“As far as everyone knew and what we were told by ERCOT and the PUC, the winterization they had done was working,” said Patrick, but conceded, no third party inspected the winterization.
Some Texans are calling for federal regulation as Texas is the only continental state that has its own power grid, however, Patrick shot down that idea.
“The feds don’t allow you to build nuclear anymore, they’re shutting down the coal and they’ve taken away all the incentives from people investing in natural gas plants because they are giving all their incentives to the renewables,” said Patrick.
Patrick reiterated that renewables are not the answer, but says his team is going back to the drawing board.
“We are going to find out what went wrong. We kind of generally know what happened, but we are going to find out the whys and we are going to fix it,” said Patrick.
High power bills due to the winter storm have plagued many families. Patrick said he and his team are working on a solution for them, but he hasn’t come to a resolution yet.