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Top board leaders resign after deadly Texas power outages | US & World News – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-02-23 23:09:14 –

Austin, Texas (AP) —Texas’s puzzled power grid operator’s topboard leader resigns on Tuesday after being angry at more than four million customers losing electricity during a deadly winter storm. Announced. Sub-zero temperature.

This is the first time he has resigned since the crisis began in Texas, and the aftermath of one of the worst power outages in US history calls for a wider range of shots.

All five resigning directors, including Chairman Sally Thalberg, live outside Texas, only increasing criticism of Texas’s Electrical Reliability Council. The resignation will take effect on Wednesday — the day before Texas legislators are expected to sharply ask grid managers and energy authorities about their failures during a hearing at the State Capitol.

Another candidate for a board position, also not living in Texas, said he was withdrawing his name.

Four of the retiring board members acknowledged “concerns about out-of-state board leadership” in a letter to the grid members and the public utility commission of the state that oversees ERCOT. During the crisis, ERCOT officials removed the contact information of board members from the website. , Said they were the target of the threat.

Members of the board did not reflect their achievements in the letter.

“Our mind is directed at all Texas people who had to go without electricity, heat and water during the frigid, and continues to face the tragic consequences of this emergency,” the letter said. read.

Other board members are Vice Chairman Peter Clamton, Terry Bulger, and Raymond Hepper. According to a biography on the ERCOT website, Thalberg lives in Michigan and Bulger lives in Wheaton, Illinois. Clanton and Hepper have worked outside Texas. The fifth board member to leave is Vanessa Anesetti-Parra.

ERCOT’s board of directors has a total of 16 members and appoints officers to manage the day-to-day operations of the grid manager.

Millions of people lost electricity and water for days due to Texas’s historic snowfall and single-digit temperatures last week.The storm was part of an ice explosion across the Deep South t The hat was due to more than 80 dead, about half of which was in Texas.

Republican Governor Greg Abbott mainly condemned the suspension of ERCOT and called for an investigation.But the problem Wider than ERCOTIt did not protect wellheads from freezing, including power plants that were knocked offline by extreme cold waves and natural gas producers.

“The lack of preparation and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable. We welcome these resignations,” Abbott said in a statement. “Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and give a complete picture of the problem. Last week’s tragedy will never repeat.”

ERCOT President Bill Magnes said early February 15 as Texas’s power grid was independently isolated from the rest of the United States, power plants froze in the cold, and electricity demand became record. Said that he was on the verge of collapse. Heat Home overwhelmed the system. He defended the power outage as needed while Abbott accused ERCOT of misleading Texas about grid preparation.

As Governor, Abbott elects members of the Public Utility Commission to oversee ERCOT. Election of “unaffiliated” ERCOT board members, like most resignations, requires PUC approval.

According to the 2018 tax return, Clanton received $ 87,000 in compensation and worked an average of five hours a week. Bulger earned $ 65,250 and worked an average of eight hours a week. The other three members of the board at the time were paid between $ 92,600 and $ 100,100, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many hours they worked. ERCOT rated Magness’ total reward for the year at $ 883,264.

After ERCOT removed the board member’s information from the website, Magnes confirmed in a phone call with a reporter last week that it was public information, but did not explain the nature of the threat.

“It was a security, safety idea,” Magnes said.

Cramton, whose page on the professional networking site LinkedIn states that he lives in California, declined to comment when he contacted him on Tuesday. Hepper also declined to comment beyond his resignation, and other board members did not immediately respond to the request for comment.

Meanwhile, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the Texas Public Utility Commission is responsible for power losses as well as ERCOT.

“ERCOT shouldn’t be the only scapegoat,” said a former Democratic legislature who oversees one of the state’s largest cities and one of the cities that has been hit hardest by the recent weather.

“When I was in the Texas State Assembly, I submitted a PUC-related bill in 2011, confirming that ERCOT has sufficient reserves to prevent power outages. The bill is heard. I didn’t receive it.

“PUC oversees ERCOT and the governor appoints all three members. The resignation changes the fact that PUC and the Texas State Parliament did not provide oversight or enact common-sense policies. No, “Turner said.


Koenig reported from Dallas.

Copyright 2021 AP communication. all rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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