AUSTIN - Four months after widespread power outages shut down Texas, the state’s Electric Reliability Council (ERCOT) is asking Texans to conserve power with temperatures in the 90s -- or even higher -- this week. This call for individual action comes after state lawmakers largely failed to invest in conservation, efficiency, and renewable energy during the just-completed 2021 legislative session.
In response, Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger released the following statement:
“Summer doesn’t even start for another week, yet ERCOT is already worried about having enough juice to keep the lights and air conditioners on across the state. It’s outrageous that after February’s deadly and disheartening blackout we still haven’t taken the necessary steps to build a cleaner, more reliable electric grid.”
“Texas has vast untapped reserves of energy in the form of energy efficiency, wind, solar and battery storage. We should be paying Texans to conserve energy. We should be paying Texans to better insulate their homes to reduce demand for electricity. We should be paying Texans to install rooftop solar and batteries. We should be interconnecting our grid with the nation. Instead, the Legislature gave billions of dollars in hand-outs to the big energy companies -- and here they are, failing us again.
“Texas is already the leading state when it comes to wind power and we have bountiful sun. To rely so heavily on outdated fossil fuels is foolish and leaves us open to the type of disaster we lived through in February -- hungry, thirsty and powerless. It’ll just be dangerously hot instead of dangerously cold.”
“It’s long past time to improve our energy infrastructure and transition to renewable sources.”