Scott Braddock Discusses Aftermath of Texas Storm & Power Outages
Monday morning on The Chad Hasty Show, Editor of the Quorum Report Scott Braddock joined the show to talk about the storm that ravaged Texas and how PUC and ERCOT handled it, what we can expect from hearings on the issue this week, Texas's rainy day fund, democrats' campaigning problems in 2020 and more.
Austin is still thawing out after severe cold temperatures of the previous week and power continues to be restored. Despite this, many Texas residents are seeing exorbitant bills for their electricity usage this week. This is largely due to the way that variable rate plans in unregulated markets, such as what ERCOT offers, work.
Braddock said that the variable rate plans can seem like a pretty good deal on their own, set up for cheap energy, but the tradeoff is that it's not reliable, which he says is ironic considering that it's coming from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
This can mean that when Texas has a problem in the system like we've seen this past week, it can turn into a catastrophe, with certain individuals being charged $10,000 or even $16,000 for their electricity usage. Braddock explained that in the end, despite the destruction not being quite as apparent, this storm could cost more than Hurricane Harvey, which had insurance claims of almost $20 billion.
In light of all of this, Braddock said that there will be House and Senate hearings this week, starting on Thursday, and that he expects to see a lot of unhappy lawmakers involved. He added that there seems to be some tension ramping up over how this was all handled, as well as how issues like this will be handled in the future. He thinks it's very tempting to have a lot of finger-pointing with people trying to blame the PUC or ERCOT, but that these are real-world problems that need real-world answers. Despite how mad people are, Braddock believe we need to focus on a solution.
Braddock was also asked how much money is in Texas's rainy day fund and if any of it can be used to try and fix things. He said that the number has been higher than anticipated, being around $11 billion and on its way to $12 billion. However, he does not think that the constitution allows for that money to be used on these problems and isn't sure how officials plan to "thread this needle."
Read more info at quorumreport.com and watch the full interview in the video above.
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