Texas Energy Commitee Hit by Two Lawsuits — Texans seek $10 Million in Damages

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Texans without electricity.
Texans without electricity.

Texas Energy Committee is facing at least two lawsuits from Texans. After days of power outage in Texas U.S., tens of lives were lost, and hundreds of thousands are lacking clean water and heat. And Texans are blaming the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). The lawsuits seeks $10 million in damages from the corporation.

ERCOT provides electricity to 90% of Texas. Over 25 million people rely on the corporation for electricity. However, amid the freezing conditions the U.S. state faced, Texans weren’t able to find heat, and lives were lost.

Fort Bend County residents Mauricio and Daysi Marin filed the lawsuit against the Austin-based corporation — alleging it of not “adequately preparing for the winter storm.” Mauricio who relies on oxygen because of the COVID-19 pandemic said that ERCOT had put him in a difficult situation, that can get him killed.

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“ERCOT’s forecast for the maximum electricity that would be consumed far under-estimated the reality. As a result, millions were plunged into darkness and cold as a result of a loss of electricity.” the lawsuit said.

Texans in Nueces County filed a lawsuit against ERCOT

Meanwhile, another state resident filed a lawsuit against ERCOT in Nueces County on Friday. Texans who filed the lawsuit alleged the corporation of being aware of energy supply weakness but didn’t do anything about it. Nueces County residents who filed the lawsuit said that similar winter outages occurred in 1989 and 2011 and that the corporation should have learned the lesson since then.

“This cold weather event and its effects on the Texas energy grid were neither unprecedented, nor unexpected, nor unforeseen,” the Nueces County suit alleges.

In return, a spokeswoman for ERCOT said the committee will respond to the lawsuits whenever they review them.

“Our thoughts are with all Texans who have and are suffering due to this past week. However, because approximately 46% of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout.” The spokeswoman told Insider.

Nueces County suit said that ERCOT’s generators that failed in 1989 had failed again in the February winter storm. However, the corporation’s efforts “were not adequate, or were not maintained,” stated an investigation by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee in 2011.

“The massive amount of generator failures that were experienced raises the question whether it would have been helpful to increase reserve levels going into the event,” the 2011 FERC report said.

ERCOT tweeted Friday that Texans are no longer obliged to conserve energy, and that they can use heat again.