As countless Texans continue to struggle from last week’s historic winter storms and catastrophic power outages, the state’s top law enforcer announced he’s launching an investigation to “pursue justice for Texans.”

On Friday, Attorney General Ken Paxton issued civil investigative demands to a handful of Texas power companies as well as ERCOT, the state government’s now highly disdained power grid management agency.

Paxton is requiring them to hand over an array of documents related to last week’s disaster, such as recent communications between ERCOT and power companies, emergency plans and safety protocols for cold weather operations, and evidence of their efforts to winterize the power grid.

“The large-scale failure of Texas power companies to withstand the winter storm left multiple millions of Texans without power and heat during lethal, record-low temperatures across the state,” wrote Paxton in a press release.

“I’m using the full scope of my constitutional powers to launch an investigation into ERCOT and other entities that grossly mishandled this week’s extreme winter weather,” he continued. “While Texans pulled together to get their communities through this disaster, they were largely left in the dark.”

In the fallout of the storms and outages, politicians and government officials have been busy pointing fingers—some at ERCOT for their mishandling of the emergency situation, some at Republican state lawmakers for refusing for years to pass proposed electrical grid protections, and some at Gov. Greg Abbott for his role in spending billions of taxpayer dollars on unreliable green energy rather than strengthening the core electrical grid.

Meanwhile, Paxton’s investigation into ERCOT could be one step toward fixing a broader problem. The companies must submit documents to the attorney general by March 15.

“We will get to the bottom of this power failure, and I will tirelessly pursue justice for Texans.”

Jacob Asmussen

Jacob Asmussen is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard. He attended the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and in 2017 earned a double major in public relations and piano performance.


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