Lt. Gov. Patrick urges action on high winter storm energy prices
AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is asking Texas Governor Greg Abbott to take action when it comes to the high energy prices from ERCOT.
"We need to correct it. It’s wrong. It was clear it was wrong and it should be corrected," said Patrick. "At the end of the day, ratepayers are gonna have to pay this whether it’s for five years, 10 years, 20 years. Somebody has to pay."
Following the February winter storms, sky-high energy bills were handed out across the state. In Central Texas, Georgetown’s energy bill for that week was more than $44 million.
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In a press conference on Thursday, Patrick said because the state is under an emergency declaration order, Gov. Abbott has two options.
The first option is to tell ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission directly to correct the high prices.
The other option is to announce an investigation into the prices. "That will allow us to continue looking at this and follow the path‘s where are those paths lead us," Patrick says. However, this option could take months or even years to resolve.
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"There shouldn’t be any winners or losers on this. We should do the correct thing, correct the price on that day it will work itself out," Patrick says.
Patrick also spoke of a leaked tape from the former Public Utility Commission commissioner. While the audio hasn’t been released, Patrick spoke about what was said and in short, Patrick claims the commissioner told investors he was going to delay the state legislature so the energy prices won’t be changed. "That alone should be enough for the governor to say we just can’t abide by that," Patrick says.
With the Texas State House out for the week, Patrick said the governor has till Saturday to make a decision, or else it’s out of the state's hands and in the hands of the courts.