Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) addressed concerns about an incoming storm as its “ultra-cold” temperatures approach the Lone Star State, assuring Texans that officials are prepared and that the power grid will “remain up and running very robustly.”
The governor held a press conference on Wednesday ahead of the cold snap sweeping the country, which will reach portions of Texas. He assured his listeners that local leaders have access to “anything they need from the state of Texas to assist them in dealing with this harsh weather that’s coming in.”
Abbott explained that the state actually does not expect much precipitation. Rather, extremely cold temperatures are the biggest threat — a trend consistent with other areas of the country as well as the “bomb cyclone” moves through the Midwest.
While Abbott said there could be some precipitation in the northern area of the state, “for the most part, we should have sunshine through most of this cold weather episode.”
With this extended cold weather phenomenon, Abbott acknowledged some Texans have concerns about the power grid, but he assured the public that it “will remain up and running very robustly during this very cold snap.”
The chair of the Public Utilities Commission, Peter Lake, spoke after Abbott and told the public that the grid is both “ready and reliable.”
“We expect to have sufficient generation to meet demand throughout this entire winter weather event. Texans have seen the impact of the landmark reforms. We went through an extremely cold February last winter and a record breaking summer and delivered power throughout without disruption,” he said, noting that the reforms included “winterization of infrastructure by the generators and poles and wires.”
“We have more power available than ever before. We’ve got more backup fuel, and we’ve mapped the critical interactions between the natural gas system and our power generators. We will call on our industrial demand response before we ask homes to conserve power, and we will continue the consistent communication between our partner agencies,” he said, noting that the reforms are focused on “prioritizing people over profits.”
He added that high winds are predicted, which could result in power outages. However, he said that would not be an indicator that the state does not have sufficient generation.
“The grid today is reliable, but our state’s growth means that we need to plan for the grid of the future. Our reliability reforms are working. But it’s not a permanent fix,” he added.
The “bomb cyclone” is expected to sweep the Midwest and Great Lakes region this week, resulting in freezing temperatures as south as Florida:
The snow is one problem, but the extreme wind and cold will be the most widespread problem with this #winterstorm.
— Jen Carfagno (@JenCarfagno) December 21, 2022