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Ag Commissioner Miller: ‘Texas Grid is Not Secure’

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Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller speaks at the Republican National Convention. | Image by Karin Dyer/The Dallas Express

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The Texas power grid is not secure, according to a campaign email sent to supporters Friday by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller.

The email began by harkening back to the February 2021 winter storm, when rolling blackouts left millions of people in the state without electricity.

ScienceDirect estimated that more than 10 million residents were without power during the freeze. After it was over, the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 246 winter-storm-related deaths.

“Weather happens, but the real tragedy was a human failure… cozy relationships between regulators and industry, too much reliance on low capacity alternative energy, and profit seeking at the expense of safety and security such as winterizing natural gas infrastructure,” Miller’s email read.

“The chaos also had a significant effect on our state’s agriculture industry, just one of the many gut punches delivered to our ranchers and farmers over the past couple of years,” the email continued.

As the Texas agriculture commissioner, Miller’s job is to promote agriculture production, consumer protection, economic development, and healthy living.

Since the winter storm, the Texas Legislature has passed Senate Bill 3, which implemented new rules on utility companies and power facilities. The Texas Public Utility Commission (PUC) also issued new regulatory guidelines.

New guidelines mandated winterizing all natural gas, electric, and water lines in the state. Power companies are also now required to give the PUC reports on their “winter weather readiness.”

Along with this, the Texas PUC lowered the maximum wholesale electricity price. Instead of a $9,000 per megawatt-hour cap, the new limit is $5,000, a 45% decrease.

SB 3 passed in May 2020 and brought in several changes. Some changes include repairs of critical parts and the implementation of more thorough inspections, more accurate reports, monthly testing during the winter, and an emergency alert system to notify Texans when power demand may exceed supply, among other regulations.

Failure to comply with SB 3 will result in power companies being hit with a $1 million per day fine until they are back in compliance.

Miller said the reforms did not go far enough, citing the warnings the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has issued this summer advising Texans to reduce their energy consumption amid record-high temperatures.

“This summer has put the lie to the idea that we have made all of the reforms Texas needs,” Miller’s campaign email reads. “As temperatures have spiked regulators have repeatedly told us to turn off the lights, close the blinds, and keep our homes uncomfortably warm.”

“No. Just. No,” the email continued. “It is outrageous that in one of the most successful states, in the most successful country in the world, we can’t keep the lights on!

“It is essential that our governor, and the next legislature, go much further to fix our energy insecurity,” Miller added, “That is why I have repeatedly called for a special session to address the many areas where we are still falling short.”

Miller acknowledged that the reforms have had some positive impact, “or we would have already lost power in this summer heat.”

“But barely having enough juice is too close for comfort and unacceptable,” he added. “We deserve and require better.”

Gov. Greg Abbott’s office responded to Miller’s campaign email with a statement.

“Anyone who says the Texas electric grid is not secure is not aware of how well it’s performed under recent record-breaking weather we’ve experienced as a result of the reforms passed by the legislature and signed into law by Governor Abbott,” said the statement. “Texas has had record-setting temperatures this summer and record-setting demand on the power grid, and we have been able to meet that demand every time.”

“Since May, Texas has set and broken power demand records over 25 times without any system-wide issues or disruptions for the more than 26 million Texans served by the electric grid,” the statement continued.

“The ERCOT power grid has been able to meet those challenges and respond in record ways, providing more power than ever before and doing so more efficiently, in large part because of the reforms passed last session and the increase in power generation by more than 15% over last year,” the statement read.

“Governor Abbott continues working to ensure the substantial bipartisan reforms passed by the House and Senate last year are properly implemented so that the grid remains stable and reliable.”

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

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Nell Fenwick
Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

Surprise. Texas might wanna beg and plead to get back into the national grid before the grid once again fails and the operators have to sit around looking bewildered.

kap pac
kap pac
Reply to  Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

Why would you want to lump Texas into that? Why not make sure the Texas Grid works properly and for years to come??

Taylor
Taylor
Reply to  kap pac
1 month ago

It’s the Globalist leftist mentality. Get everyone tied to one system and then when the Globalist elite evil master mind hacks and collapses the system, everyone is “”equally”” effected. Equality to communists = everyone (except those elitists who rule over us) suffers equally.

Concerned Texan
Concerned Texan
Reply to  Taylor
1 month ago

The fly in the ointment of the neo-socialist is the patriot, capable, motivated and optimized to be ultra-subversive. Revolution is always preferable to insurrection as it yields far better and longer-lasting results.

Texas Rifle
Texas Rifle
Reply to  kap pac
1 month ago

Thank you. That is what we need to do.

Danielius
Danielius
Reply to  Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

Aggie Governor Rick Perry said after the “big freeze” power failure that if the choice was power outages or government regulation, he’d choose power outages. This Mongoloid is why Texas is becoming a joke nationally. Also, Abbott is simply a politician trying to put lipstick on a pig.

Concerned Texan
Concerned Texan
Reply to  Danielius
1 month ago

And the Dems can ‘fix’ ANY of this? How about you move your sorry @$$ to any BLUE state of your choosing and do it NOW.

KayDee
KayDee
Reply to  Concerned Texan
1 month ago

Why is it people like you always want others to move when you can’t get your way? Get your head out of the sand! Nobody is moving, we’re staying and we’re going to work with people that are intelligent enough to know things aren’t perfect – people who are willing to work TOGETHER so the WHOLE state benefits! SHEEESH!

Rachel
Rachel
Reply to  KayDee
1 month ago

We are not living in a perfect world, so we all need to tolerate one another. We need to be content here in Texas and show appreciation for the impressive work our leaders are doing. I travel a lot, there is no place like Texas, even though Texas has its own flaws, it is a “jewel in the United States ground.” in my humble opinion.

John
John
Reply to  Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

By having our own power grid, we gain the benefit of being separate from the rest of the US IF our system is more reliable than the alternative. We MUST insure our grid is alive and operating properly.

Concerned Texan
Concerned Texan
Reply to  Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

Texans don’t beg or plead, and it does not bode well for those who ignore that or underestimate our resolve. States and their governments are ‘sovereign’ in case you did not understand how the UNITED States is set up … And it is in the best interest of sovereign independent STATES to remain as independent and flexible as they can. Our collective strength (as a nation) is within our strategic interdependence upon one another. This symbiosis is constantly changing and evolving, or as the current progressive socialist political climate dictates, devolving. Hence the call for either a convention of the STATES or the possibility of secession.

Texas Rifle
Texas Rifle
Reply to  Nell Fenwick
1 month ago

No thanks.

Steve Shockley
Steve Shockley
1 month ago

I believe Sid

Danielius
Danielius
1 month ago

Meanwhile, Oncor is making huge profits off Texas residents. The Texas Utility Commission is corrupt and always favors the utility providers. The Texas Taliban is in control.

Oncor Electric Delivery Company reported a net income of $229 million for the three-month period ending on June 30, 2022.
That is $60 million more than the same time period in 2021.
The Dallas-based company says the new records in power demand drove up their profits.

“It has been a great quarter, and I am so proud of our financial and operational performance.

https://www.fox4news.com/news/oncor-posts-huge-profits-as-texans-crank-up-ac-this-summer

Concerned Texan
Concerned Texan
1 month ago

I see Sid has learned to play the ‘vote for me out of fear game.’ He learned it from the Democrats. Here’s how you play. Campaign on any issue that has the potential to be real and also the potential to have serious consequences if mishandled. Demonize the other side as being responsible in some way, shape or form. Then imply that you MAY have the answer to solve this. More recently one does not even have to claim to have a solution to use this tactic. Merely mentioning the issue and its supposed cause is enough. The real problem with all of this tactic, when practiced by either side of the aisle, is that it never provides genuine solutions, and in fact ignores solving the challenge in favor of continuing the problem into the future. As long as there is the NEED for FEAR/WORRY/ANXIETY then one’s political power is secure. Ironic that we are juxtaposing electric power against political power. My only honest ‘fear’ is that this pun is lost on 99% of the readers. Shame on any politician that uses this strategy. They are working to destroy what remains of our great state.

Solidwalls
Solidwalls
Reply to  Concerned Texan
1 month ago

Concerned Texan: I appreciate your reasoning and I think many of us have begun to notice the use of fear as a tool to manipulate us. The UKR war (and many others) comes to mind. I once had a sales manager that taught this (left that place) so it is common among a corrupt population. However, I think you are unfair to Sid on this issue, if for no other reason being that it is a vital one and we cannot know his thoughts. 50 years ago we had great redundancy and the systems was simple. We need to ask ourselves what we have allowed to go wrong ans how to fix it. To me that is much greater than if Sid is deliberately trying to frighten us. I think he is, but this is so serious I just don’t care about motives…We just want to see results.

Philip
Philip
1 month ago

That remark about the grid not losing power is absolute BS. I know for a fact there have been multiple blackouts in the DFW area.

Texas Rifle
Texas Rifle
Reply to  Philip
1 month ago

I haven’t heard of any and I live in the Metroplex.

Rachel
Rachel
Reply to  Philip
1 month ago

I live in Dallas, and I haven’t heard any, what channel or TV stations have reported that news? I’m curious to know. Please post some link so we can read about it. Thanks

ed lopez
ed lopez
1 month ago

The whole point of theTexas grid was to provide reliable cheap power, what happened? The ERCOT board comprises all political appointees, the governor’s cronies, who get well compensated for nothing.

cyndy roark
cyndy roark
1 month ago

Respectfully, Abbott and Miller are both derelict in their official duties. V O T E them OUT!

Norma
Norma
Reply to  cyndy roark
1 month ago

I am a very old lady born in Texas in 1935. I remember when Texas cared about its people and used taxes appropriately – Texas Employment Commission used to have offices and help unemployed citizens with testing and, if necessary, job training. Now we have nothing. I live in Garland, Texas, and the city put a concrete batch plant 1.2 miles from my house for widening 635. The pollution is killing me. The Texas government, the three stooges, senators and most legislators are more interested in themselves than anything else. What has Angie Chen Button ever done for me? What about the hungry in Garland? We have Garland Power & Light (thank God) and were without power for 2 days. I cannot breathe in my own home and have a mask on while I write this in my den. I would not trust Sid Miller with excrement. I care about all animals and he is one of those despicable persons who ropes calves, causing severe injury and excruciating pain to the animal who is then sent to the slaughter house while is sits on a horse and bows to the crowd. When is PETA going to stop Sid Miller and his ilk? You think he cares about Texans – think again. He cares about Sid Miller.

Concerned Texas
Concerned Texas
Reply to  Norma
1 month ago

Exactly

chris
chris
1 month ago

The date that SB3 was passed was certainly not May 2020…. before the winter crisis. It was June 2021.

Rod
Rod
1 month ago

Obviously a democrat trying to get traction. Or a RINO.

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