Texas Lawmakers Pass Bill Overhauling State Power Grid

Jun 2, 2021

Credit Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

TEXAS POWER GRID BILL -  Legislation aimed at overhauling the Texas  power grid  after February’s deadly winter storm is now on its way to the governor.   The Texas House and Senate gave final approval to the sweeping SB 3 on Sunday...just one day before the state’s legislative session ended.    Some experts, though, say the bill falls short. While it requires power plants to weatherize, it doesn’t provide funding to do so.  And while it directs natural gas facilities to prepare for extreme weather, that’s only required of sites that regulators consider ‘critical.’

Ahead of the final vote in the House, Democratic State Representative  Ron Reynolds  of Missouri City questioned the bill’s sponsor, Republican Chris Paddie.
 

"One of the critical things that I think was missed is that we did not look at whether or not climate change had an impact upon the extreme weather that we've experienced." Texas State Representative Ron Reynolds (D) Missouri City, TX
Rep. Ron Reynolds (D) Missouri City, TX
Credit Courtesy: Texas House of Representatives

“One of the critical things that I think was missed is that we did not look at whether or not climate change had an impact upon the extreme weather that we’ve experienced.," Reynolds said. "We’ve experienced several 100 year events within the last several years, would you agree we also need to look at climate change as well?” 

And Republican Chris Paddie of Marshall  replied:
 

"We may disagree on what the causes are but I think it's difficult to argue we're seeing some unusual weather patterns," Texas State Representative Chris Paddie (R) Marshall, TX
Rep. Chris Paddie (R) Marshall, TX
Credit Courtesy: Texas House of Representatives

“We may disagree on what the causes are but I think it’s difficult to argue we’re seeing some unusual weather patterns," Paddie said. "We’re seeing some of  these things with more frequency, so it’s kind of hard to deny we obviously have to operate during those type of situations. As far as the reasons for that, it’s always a point of discussion.”

The final version of the legislation does, though, require state agencies, like the Public Utility Commission of Texas, to consult with the state  climatologist  when  preparing for future storms.  The  bill awaits  Governor  Greg  Abbotts’ signature.