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With tight grid conditions and threat of blackouts, lawmaker questions whether we’re living in Texas… or California

Republican says Legislature, led by Republicans, must do more to strengthen the grid.

DALLAS — The oppressive and dangerous heat blanketing Texas not only shows no sign of letting up, it also seems to be tightening its grip on us every day.

When is the last time you can even remember double digit temps?

State Representative Brian Harrison has certainly taken notice.

Just before the Republican joined us on Inside Texas Politics, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a call for Texans to “voluntarily” conserve electricity because of tight conditions on the grid, due to high demand and low wind generation.

So he sent a tweet asking if we’re living in Texas… or California, which has become known for rolling blackouts.

“Here we are in the great state of Texas, in God’s country, in what is perhaps the most energy-rich patch of dirt on this planet we call Earth, and every time it gets really hot, or really cold these days, we are now in a situation where you have to wonder if the lights are going to be able to stay on, if you’re going to be able to heat your home, or on days like today, if you’re going to be able to cool your home,” he told us.

Expect the power grid in Texas to continue to be a focus for lawmakers in Austin.

But the next regular legislative session won’t happen until 2025.

Representative Harrison say lawmakers not only have to do more to make the grid and the market more reliable, but they also have to make the state less dependent on renewables, wind and solar.

Beyond that, he wonders why what he calls “unelected bureaucrats” are allowed to make decisions at the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT).

While ERCOT manages the grid, the PUCT regulates it.

And despite the fact that we’ve set records this summer in terms of usage, ERCOT has, so far, kept the lights on.

But Rep. Harrison says that’s just living on the ledge.

“I think anybody who’s looked at their emails or twitter today from ERCOT knows for a fact that it’s shaky,” he said.

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