Texas governor says power grid fixed; experts cite problems

Texas governor says power grid fixed; experts cite problems



AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Despite experts who say Texas' power grid remains vulnerable, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott declared Tuesday that new reforms “fix all of the flaws” that caused February's deadly winter blackout that left more than 4 million people without power in subfreezing weather.

He was joined by Republicans who defended it as a good deal for consumers, even though they gave no direct financial relief to families who were stuck with high energy bills or lost income as the lights and heat stayed off for days.

Signing into law two sweeping overhauls in response to one of the largest power outages in U.S. history, Abbott asserted that he and the GOP-controlled Texas Legislature had delivered following one of the worst crises in his six years as governor. But even members of his own party say there is work still to be done.

More than 4 million people lost power when temperatures plunged into single digits over Valentine Day's weekend, icing power generators and buckling the state's electric grid. State officials say they have confirmed at least 151 deaths blamed on the freeze and resulting outages, but the real toll is believed to be higher.

“The legislature passed comprehensive reforms to fix all of the flaws that led to the power failure,” Abbott said. He went on to add, “Bottom line is that everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.”

Energy experts disagree, saying that although lawmakers made significant changes that include mandates to “weatherize” power plants for extreme temperatures and new processes to avert communication failures, the reforms do not go far enough to assure a similar catastrophe won't happen again in one of America's most booming states.

Among the criticisms are Texas leaving enforcement and key decisions...

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