Petition Texas to Join East and West Energy Interconnects with the Tres Amigas Project

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Texas has faced a unique disaster of its own making in the historic winter storm that hit the state in Feburary 2021. As of Feb 16th, some 4 million Texans are facing extended power outages in freezing weather will little to no warning to prepare beforehand. With several accident-related deaths already caused by these power outages, and countless stories of frozen pipes and other property damage, Texas' mismanagement of the power grid has caused untold harm to its citizens.

One unique aspect of Texas' energy system stands out as a determining factor in this disaster--the isolation of the state's energy grid from the only other two energy grids in the country, the Eastern Interconnection and the Western Electricity Coordinating Council. As an independent energy grid, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) must balance its own energy production and consumption within the state. Since Texas can not borrow energy from other states, and with a drastic curtail of energy supply due to the storm, Texas citizens must bear the brunt of the consequences of this failed governance with prolonged energy blackouts.

Fortunately, the Tres Amigas project in New Mexico, started in 2010, would create such an interconnection between the country's three power grids. Since ERCOT has proven themselves incapable of living up to their name and sustaining the reliability of the Texas power grid, we demand Governor Greg Abbott and Public Utility Commission Chariman DeAnn T. Walker to cease stonewalling their participation in the Tres Amigas project, and to join the East and West interconnections for ensured power reliability throughout the state.

Additional Reading:

Grandmother, 3 children die in Sugar Land house fire, officials say by Vincent Crivelli. Feb. 16, 2021.

HPD: Woman, little girl die from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by car running in garage to keep warm by Dough Delony. Feb. 16, 2021.

Texplainer: Why Does Texas Have Its Own Power Grid? by Kate Galbraith. Feb. 8, 2011

Hola, Amigas by Kate Galbraith. Aug 26, 2010.

Tres Amigas