AUSTIN (Nexstar) — The Speaker of the Texas House is asking for input from the public on the effects of the statewide power outages, as lawmakers prepare for hearings this week.
The first hearing on the electric blackouts is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25, in a joint hearing between the State Affairs and Energy Resources committees.
Speaker Dade Phelan is soliciting comments for lawmakers to consider to give state officials a better understanding of the individual impacts of the winter storm around the state.
“I encourage Texas residents to use the House’s public comment portal to formally share their experiences & thoughts about the electric blackouts,” Phelan tweeted, with a link to the portal.
Upwards of four million Texans had power problems during the winter storm, which dumped ice and snow across every Texas county. Leadership from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (the manager of the Texas power grid) will face questions from lawmakers at the hearing.
ERCOT’s CEO defended the actions to force power companies to leave Texans in the dark, and in many cases without heat, as the state-run grid was “seconds and minutes” from collapsing. Gov. Greg Abbott called for an investigation into the council, which answers to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Abbott is responsible for appointing the PUC commissioners.
Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have put out calls for comments.
To submit a statement, visit the House Public Comment website by clicking here.