The recent spate of freezing weather has caught Texas completely unprepared. The snow and ice is attacking utility infrastructure, and millions of Texans have been left without power, dealing with broken plumbing systems and huddling in place during sub-freezing temperatures.
These hardships are compounded by the ongoing challenges of a global pandemic, with a mounting casualty count which many say could have been avoided, or at least mitigated. These headwinds have Texas Democrats furious over what they say is a failed GOP response to emergencies which are heavily impacting residents in the Lone Star State.
“For twenty years, crisis after crisis, we’ve seen a failed response from Governor Abbott and the preceding Republican governors before him,” said Texas Democratic Party Gilberto Hinojosa. “Abbott is the worst governor in modern Texas History. Whether it’s botching the coronavirus crisis, bungling vaccine distribution, forgetting Texans during Hurricane Harvey, or failing Texans in their greatest hour of need in the middle of this winter storm, it’s clear that Texas Republicans cannot manage the government.
“This is far beyond partisan politics. This is a question of whether or not we require basic competency in our government. Texas voters will remember these failures and hold Republicans accountable in 2022.”
For his part, Abbott declared the reform of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item this legislative session on Feb. 16. In declaring this item an emergency, the Governor is calling on the legislature to investigate ERCOT over the power outages on the scale they have seen over the past several days.
“The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has been anything but reliable over the past 48 hours,” said Governor Abbott. “Far too many Texans are without power and heat for their homes as our state faces freezing temperatures and severe winter weather. This is unacceptable. Reviewing the preparations and decisions by ERCOT is an emergency item so we can get a full picture of what caused this problem and find long-term solutions. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for acting quickly on this challenge, and I will work with them to enhance Texas’ electric grid and ensure that our state never experiences power outages like this again.”