Former Texas ‘Power Chief” Says Governor ordered him to overcharge Customers during winter outages

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Bill Magness, the former CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), testified in court on Wednesday that millions of Texans received sky-high energy bills during last winter’s deep freeze based on the instructions of Gov. Greg Abbott.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Magness alleged under oath that ” when he ordered power prices to stay at the maximum price cap for days on end during last year’s frigid winter storm and blackout, running up billions of dollars in bills for power companies, he was following the direction” of the Texas governor.

Magness said that keeping prices as high as possible was the only way to follow Abbott’s directive, which was relayed to him by then-Public Utility Commission Chairman DeAnn Walker, to keep the power on at all costs.



“She told me the governor had conveyed to her if we emerged from rotating outages it was imperative they not resume,” Magness testified. “We needed to do what we needed to do to make it happen.”

Abbott’s office did not immediately respond to The Chronicle’s request for comment, although last year Abbott spokesman Mark Miner claimed that the governor was “not involved in any way.”

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2 COMMENTS

  1. What this article does not mention is that neighboring states, who are not connected to the Texas grid, are being raped as well. We were told in Arkansas that we would be having a surcharge due to the idiocy in Texas for the foreseeable future. My in-laws in Texas they said it is also known that officials basically did what they could to exacerbate the situation by ignoring advise to make sure the system was prepared. Texas officials told Texans that the problems were unavoidable, since they didn’t know it was going to be so cold. Which is a pretty sorry excuse as anyone with a TV watching the weather knew what was coming. Funny how Texas’ commercially owned energy, touted as being superior since it was isolated from the rest of the country, screwed every state near it, because they had to import energy and caused price increases due to increased peak demand. But Texans got a real eye opener when they got their bills… my in-laws near Houston got a bill for $16,000. The really funny part (if there is any) is the only thing still producing was the wind turbines that Texas politicians love to hate.

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