AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Thursday, Texas Congressman Greg Casar (D-Texas), said he was actively creating federal legislation to require Texas’ electrical grid to connect to the national grids, according to a news release from Casar’s office.
“I am drafting federal legislation to connect Texas to the national electric grids,” Casar said in the news release. “Whether we’re in the middle of a heat wave or a winter storm, Texas should be able to keep the lights on. This legislation will help consumers, improve the economy, generate more clean power, and save lives.”
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for a majority of the state, has requested Texans to conserve energy nearly everyday over the past week.
About 90% or the state’s electricity is run solely through the Texas grid, the release said. Because millions of Texans are not interconnected to the national grids, they are susceptible to losing power in the extreme cold or extreme heat – when needing reliable energy the most. The remaining 10% – like El Paso in the west and Jasper in the east – are connected to other grids and did not suffer mass power outages during the 2021 winter storm, the release said.
More than 10 million Texans lost power during the storm, the release said.
Casar said in the release that the state long refused to connect its grid in an attempt to avoid federal standards and consumer protections. The U.S. Congress has the legal authority to require Texas to connect to the national grids to protect consumers, improve electric reliability nationwide and safely regulate commerce, the release said.