PUC seeks authority to unilaterally fire an ERCOT CEO

In a Public Utility Commission (PUC) hearing on Thursday, to address what happened to cause the rolling blackouts of Feb. 2, members of the commission accused the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) of ignoring dire energy forecasts, failing to communicate with other important decision makers, and understating the risk of rolling blackouts.

Texas PUC Commissioner Donna Nelson
Texas PUC Commissioner Donna Nelson

As part of a routine review of rules governing its relationship with ERCOT, PUC Member Donna Nelson requested to add language that says the commission at its own discretion and without ERCOT board approval may terminate the employment of the chief executive officer.

Board members indicated that what happened on February 2nd and the hours leading up to the decision to institute rolling blackouts throughout the state pointed to part of a pattern of ERCOT’s failure to communicate with the public and the PUC, the oversight agency for ERCOT.

Click here to view the archived video of yesterday’s PUC open meeting.

State officials seem determined to hold somebody accountable. The state Senate will also hold hearings in to the blackouts beginning next week.