Four board directors of Texas’ power grid operator, ERCOT, are to resign following a historic outage that left over 4 million customers without electricity during subfreezing temperatures last week. The resignations are effective Wednesday – a day before Texas lawmakers are expected to question grid managers about the failures.
Threat Messages to ERCOT Board Members
In addition to the four director resignations, a fifth board member also gave their notice. A candidate for a director position, who lives outside Texas, also withdrew his name.
While a total of 16 ERCOT board members manage the grit, the four resigned directors live outside Texas.
Although the other board members acknowledged the concerns about the out-of-state leadership, ERCOT has removed contact information for board members from its website, claiming that the members had been targeted with threats. ERCOT’s president Bill Magness refused to disclose the nature of the threats, commenting that the removal of contact information "was a security, safety idea."
Despite the resignation, there are calls for more firings after the worst outage in U.S. history. Gov. Greg Abbott called for investigations and accused ERCOT of misleading Texas about the readiness of the grid.
However, ERCOT president Bill Magness shed more light on the event of Feb 15, explaining that the power grid was on the brink of collapse as the power plants froze in the cold. At the same time, Texas registered a record-breaking demand for electricity.