Texas power grid operator ERCOT fires CEO after deadly blackouts

  • In US
  • 2021-03-04 03:37:02Z
  • By Reuters

(Reuters) - Texas' power grid operator ousted chief executive Bill Magness on Wednesday, as the fallout continues from a deadly blackout last month that left residents without heat, power or water for days.

His departure followed fierce criticism by state lawmakers of the handling of the crisis by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which has led one large electricity provider to seek bankruptcy and put several others near to it.

The mid-February storm temporarily knocked out up to half the state's generating plants, triggering outages that killed dozens and pushed power prices to 10 times the normal rate.

"ERCOT's decision to oust CEO Bill Magness signals accountability for the disaster that swept through our state two weeks ago," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement on Twitter.

"(This step) offers the opportunity for new leadership that can more efficiently prepare and direct our state's resources when dangerous weather strikes," he added.

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who on Monday called for the heads of ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission to resign, also welcomed the move.

The legislature now can begin "fixing what went wrong," Patrick said.

ERCOT said in a statement cited by multiple media organizations that its board had directed that Magness be given a 60 days' termination notice. The board would begin an immediate search for a new CEO.

Magness was grilled for hours last week for leaving power prices at up to 450 times the usual rate after the threat to the state's grid had ended.

Seven of ERCOT's 15 directors have resigned in the last week and the head of the state's Public Utility Commission, which supervised ERCOT, resigned on Monday.

The winter storm caused widespread blackouts across Texas, a state unaccustomed to extreme cold, knocking out power to more than 4 million people at its peak.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Ann Maria Shibu in Bengaluru; Editing by Gary McWilliams and Richard Pullin)


More Related News

February's cold weather shut more U.S. refinery capacity than Hurricane Harvey
  • US
  • 2021-04-17 05:58:07Z

A severe cold spell in mid-February knocked out a third of U.S. oil refining capacity, according to data compiled by Reuters and Wood Mackenzie. A sharp...

Texas trade school owner
Texas trade school owner's journal helped convict him of $72M VA fraud, feds say
  • US
  • 2021-04-16 00:11:35Z

The owner of a trade school that marketed to veterans was convicted of a $72 million fraud, officials say.

In Texas, GOP voting bills zero in on Democratic Houston
In Texas, GOP voting bills zero in on Democratic Houston

The nation's next big voting battle underway in Texas would outlaw 24-hour polling places, drive-thru voting and make it a crime for elections officials to...

Texas' Latest Blackout Scare Boosts Call to Fix Power Grid

(Bloomberg) -- It didn't take a heat wave or freak winter storm this time to raise the specter of rolling blackouts in Texas. All it took was a mild spring...

Has Texas Achieved Herd Immunity? "There Is No Way on God
Has Texas Achieved Herd Immunity? "There Is No Way on God's Green Earth," Expert Says.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott may have been overly optimistic Sunday when he said on Fox News that his state could be "very close" to herd immunity - the point...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US