Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is taking steps to restrict state energy companies from disconnecting power for residents for nonpayment.
“We will not end this session until ERCOT is fully winterized so we do not go through this again,” Abbott said, according to the Dallas Morning News, referring to power grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Abbott said he met with lawmakers in both parties at the Texas State Capitol over the weekend to discuss the crisis, saying they are examining every conceivable path toward dealing with the crisis.
“Our absolute top priority as a commission and a state is protecting electricity customers from the devastating effects of a storm that already affected their delivery of power,” commission Chair DeAnn Walker said in a statement. “The order and directives are intended to be temporary, likely through the end of this week, to address the potential financial impacts that are especially challenging during this extremely difficult time.”
It remains unclear how many deaths have occurred since the state entered a deep freeze over a week ago. Texas Republicans have struggled to address growing calls for resignations, as reports of energy malpratice continue to emerge. At its peak, hundreds of thousands of residents across the state suffered from a lack of power, and water availability remains an issue.
“It is unacceptable for Texans who suffered through days in the freezing cold without electricity or heat to now be hit with skyrocketing energy costs,” Abbott said