STATEMENT: Climate Crisis’ New Norm—“ERCOT Emergencies”

Ercot Emergencies
Extreme Temperatures are the New Normal

Texas Must Move to Clean Energy, Build Battery Storage
Federal Connect the Grid Act is the Fix, After TxLege Fails to Act

TEXAS – This week, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was forced to issue power shortage warnings, once again, due to ‘unseasonably’ warm temperatures.

For years, the state’s grid operator has relied on dated maintenance schedules, which do not take increasingly warmer springs or climate change in general into consideration, repeatedly plaguing aging natural gas power plants that must go offline for repairs while power needs surge, short-supplying a growing Texas demand.

Electricity is a basic component of civilized life. Several unsuccessful bills that would ease the strain on the grid were filed in the 2023 regular legislative session. They died in committee. Instead, state officials like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick focused on building expensive gas-fueled power plants, which contribute to these extreme temperatures.

“When Texas experiences 'unseasonable' weather so often that it's the new normal, state leaders and those responsible for ensuring the continuous flow of power must understand the climate crisis is no longer just a topic for debate—it's a reality we're baking in. We've got to diversify our power sources, lean into clean energy options, and get battery capacity up and running to tackle Texas' energy challenges head-on," said Kathleen Thompson, Progress Texas Executive Director.

“Additionally, Texas doesn’t need to suffer alone. We can work with our neighbors. Solutions like the Connect the Grid Act, introduced by Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas), would connect the Texas electric grid to the surrounding national grids, improving reliability, saving us money, and helping us in combating the climate crisis,” she said. 

Progress Texas is a rapid response media organization promoting progressive messages and actions. For updates follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.