Five ERCOT Board Members Who Live Outside of Texas to Resign Wednesday
You'd think the folks responsible for overseeing Texas' independent power grid would at least live here in the Lone Star State.
It turns out that's not always the case, but perhaps that will change after five out-of-state Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) board members resign today.
In a document released by ERCOT Tuesday, the electrical grid operator announced the resignation of four "Unaffiliated Directors" in the wake of the spectacular failure of the system during last week's winter storm: Sally Talberg (Board Chairman), Peter Cramton (Board Vice Chairman), Terry Bulger (Finance and Audit Committee Chairman) and Raymond Hepper (Human Resources and Governance Committee Chairman).
In a joint letter included in the ERCOT release, these four members, all of whom live outside of Texas, acknowledged the pain and suffering of Texans who endured last week's winter storm without electricity and water, and the fact that many are now concerned about out-of-state board leadership.
"To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board effective after our urgent board teleconference meeting adjourns on Wednesday, February 24, 2021," the letter reads. That meeting was expected to take place at 10 AM Central Wednesday.
A fifth board member, Vanessa Anesetti-Parra (Market Segment Director for the Independent Retail Electric Provider Market Segment) also announced her resignation in writing.
Craig Ivey, who was being considered for a position on the board, wrote a letter stating his intent to withdraw his application.
News of the resignations was met with approval from Governor Greg Abbott, who issued a short statement Tuesday.
“When Texans were in desperate need of electricity, ERCOT failed to do its job and Texans were left shivering in their homes without power," Abbott wrote. "ERCOT leadership made assurances that Texas’ power infrastructure was prepared for the winter storm, but those assurances proved to be devastatingly false. The lack of preparedness and transparency at ERCOT is unacceptable, and I welcome these resignations. The State of Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and uncover the full picture of what went wrong, and we will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated.”
Board members resigning today hail from:
- Sally Talberg - Michigan
- Peter Cramton - California
- Terry Bulger - Illinois
- Raymond Hepper - Maine
- Vanessa Anesetti-Parra - Canada
What do you think? Should ERCOT board members be required to reside in Texas, or should these positions be open to whoever's most qualified regardless of where they live?