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Gov. Greg Abbott: Everybody needs greater transparency from ERCOT

Governor had few answers as millions of Texans are out of power and under boil water notices

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SAN ANTONIO – With more than two million Texans out of power Wednesday and seven million residents now under boil water notices, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order in an effort to shore up the state’s power supply amid the freezing conditions.

Under the executive order, which is effective through Feb. 21, producers who have been shipping natural gas outside Texas must sell that gas to power generators in the state.

But with more freezing temperatures and snowfall forecasted in the next few days, it’s unclear how soon that relief would come or how big of an impact it would make.

The governor did not have many answers for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ handling of the crisis. ERCOT began requiring transmission owners to conduct controlled outages in an effort to stabilize the grid.

An unstable grid would risk devastating power outages, but residents have gone days in some cases without power. With water pumps running out of power, residents across the state now have to adhere to boil water notices.

After touting the restoration of power to 600,000 homes on Wednesday, Abbott could not answer where those restorations occurred.

“That is information that has not been provided to me,” Abbott said.

Abbott said ERCOT has been “kind of opaque.”

“The way that it runs is not transparent,” Abbott said. “And one that that everybody needs is greater transparency, especially the residents across the state of Texas.”

Temperatures will not be consistently warm enough to fully restore power until Saturday, the forecast shows.

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