Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott demanded an investigation of his state’s power grid failures on Feb. 16, after a winter storm left 21 dead and millions without electricity.
“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has been anything but reliable over the last 48 hours,” Abbott said in a statement. More than 21 people have died in numerous states as a result of power outages, according to The Guardian.
We are ordering an investigation into ERCOT and immediate transparency by ERCOT. pic.twitter.com/Mt2GPlaFuE
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 16, 2021
More than 2.8 million people remain without power in Texas, according to PowerOutage.us. More than 1.5 million have had their power restored since Tuesday morning, when total outages peaked at 4.3 million, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The outages were driven in part by frozen wind turbines, which provide 22% of the state’s energy production.
The power outages “began as rotating outages but have become longer,” Dan Woodfin, a senior director for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, said on Feb. 16. (RELATED: Texans Waited Hours In Burger King Drive-Thru For Warm Meal During Storm Outages)
Abbott activated the Texas National Guard on Feb. 15 to help conduct welfare checks and manage state-run shelters. President Joe Biden issued a federal state of emergency for Texas on Feb. 14, which allows the state to tap into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds and coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security on disaster relief.