SENATE TO LOOK INTO ROLLING BLACKOUTS
(AUSTIN) — Following statewide power outages last week, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said Monday that two Senate panels will review the event and determine what changes need to be made to ensure the reliability of electricity in Texas. Very cold weather was blamed for more than 80 generation stations in Texas going down last Wednesday, causing periodic blackouts around the state due to the loss of capacity.
Dewhurst said he has charged Senator John Carona of Dallas, chairman of the Business and Commerce Committee and Senator Troy Fraser of Horseshoe Bay, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, to hold a joint session to hear testimony regarding the issue. The joint meeting will try and find the root cause of the problem, and what Texas power generators can do to prevent future outages. With another bout of cold weather forecast to hit Texas midweek, Dewhurst added that he's not yet confident that the same thing won't happen again. "I think the operators understand that they're on the hook to supply power and it's not there," he said. "We're going to look at the market and make sure that it works so that people have dependable, predictable electricity. If certain changes have to be made, then we'll consider those."
The Senate meets Tuesday in joint session with the House to hear Governor Rick Perry's State of the State address in the House Chamber at 11 a.m.