The third Texas utility resigns due to a power outage. From Reuters
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Winter weather caused power outages in Houston
By Kanishka Singh and Derek Francis
(Reuters) – The third and final remaining commissioner for the Texas Utilities Commission resigned Tuesday at the request of Governor Greg Abbott because he continued to be affected by a weather-related crisis in the state’s electricity market.
“Tonight I have requested and accepted the resignation of PUC Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea,” Abbott said in a statement, adding that he will nominate a replacement in the coming days.
In early March, Shelly Botkin resigned from her post with the Public Utility Commission (PUC), a week after DeAnn Walker resigned as chairman of the regulator.
“I am resigning immediately upon the appointment of my successor. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the state of Texas,” a resignation letter from D’Andrea said an NBC partner.
Freezing temperatures knocked nearly half of the state’s power plants out of action in February during a cold snap that killed at least 56 people. Electricity prices rose 400 times as demand skyrocketed and generators fell offline.
An independent market monitor for the Texas Electricity Regulator said earlier this month that the state’s PUC-overseen electricity grid operator ERCOT made a $ 16 billion pricing error because market prices were too high for electricity suppliers for more than a day and widespread outages ended in late February 17th.
Electricity trader Griddy Energy became the third Texas energy company on Monday to file Chapter 11 bankruptcy over huge electricity bills while it was frozen.
On Monday, state senators passed a bill directing ERCOT and the PUC to cut fees by approximately $ 5.1 billion.
However, the chairman of the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday signaled that he would not support the move.
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