Well, someone did not get the “Don’t Mess with Texas” message because this freezing weather storm caused one heck of a mess. The snowstorm looks magical but underneath it is pure madness. The planned and limited “rolling outages” to conserve power turned into days of power loss for millions of Texans.
Texas energy pride took a big hit on a grand scale. The Texas electric grid was at the mercy of the cold weather and we found out the hard way that she is unforgiving. The finger-pointing blame game with the powers that be is strong at the current moment.
One name we are soon not to forget that until recently was virtually unknown is ERCOT. ERCOT’s middle name is “reliability” and they certainly did not live up to their name. ERCOT is a nonprofit that manages the grid used by about 90% of the state. It is membership-based governed by a board of directors and subject to oversight by the Public Utility Commission of Texas and the Texas Legislature. The first sign of trouble with putting so much responsibility into ERCOT’s hands might have been that nobody on its board of directors lives in Texas and many live out of this country.
Locally, Judge Hurley has called for an Emergency State of Disaster which will help the county, cities and individuals with some financial relief. He is working with Representative Ryan Guillen to investigate ERCOT on behalf of Atascosa County. Rep. Guillen plans to join with other Texas representatives to take on ERCOT when the legislature reconvenes and speak directly with them to see where things went wrong.
This week’s issue of the Pleasanton Express missed what may be our first print deadline due to the electrical outage at our printing press. We are praying that we will be able to mail and deliver on Thursday. Thankfully, we can keep the public updated with breaking news via www.pleasantonexpress.com and on our social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Those platforms reach some 30,000 followers and our numbers, always strong, have increased by 59% since the snowstorm hit. We are thankful to be able to be of service in such an out-of-control situation.
My heart breaks for the very young, the sick and the elderly who have gone without heat and water. I pray that no long-term health consequences result from this type of exposure. It has been heartwarming to see local churches open up their doors and become warming stations. Hundreds of residents opened up their homes to neighbors, friends and family as well. There is always good in the midst of bad. Atascosa County is filled with great people and strong leadership and an abundance of non-profit resources. Please contact the Pleasanton Express if you have a story of the good that happened amidst the bad. We would love to share that with our readers. You may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 830-569-6130.