Senate, House Take Aim at Who to Blame for Outages. Over the course of 14 hours yesterday, the Texas House and Senate grilled the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages the state’s electricity grid. They ducked blame. The legislature grilled the Public Utilities Commission of Texas, which is supposed to oversee ERCOT. They also ducked blame, pointing the finger at the agency below them. One thing ERCOT CEO Bill Magness—whose annual salary is a cool $803,000—did note is that the Legislature could change the agency’s governance power. It could give them teeth to mandate generators winterize and further protect their equipment during extreme weather events, which will surely become more common as we live through the effects of climate change. Meanwhile, Curt Morgan, the CEO of Dallas’ Vistra Energy, said the natural gas companies couldn’t get gas to the power companies with the required pressures. Morgan told legislators that his faith in the deregulated energy market has been shaken. NRG’s CEO, Mauricio Gutierrez, basically said the same.
COVID Numbers Ticking Back Up after the Storm. Dallas County reported 614 new coronavirus infections on Thursday and 24 new deaths. The infection count has been artificially low because of how the storm affected testing and our ability to move about the city. County Judge Clay Jenkins anticipates those numbers to begin their ascent soon, but he believes deaths will begin to decrease.
It Really Hailed Last Night. I’m exhausted with this weather. Last night, two rounds of hail battered mostly parts of the northern corners of Dallas-Fort Worth. That’s where we got more reports of golfball and quarter-sized hail. The rest of the weekend brings a mild, springlike cold front on Saturday and widespread storms on Sunday. Saturday looks dry but cloudy, yet there is a chance we’ll get some precipitation.
Mavs Fall to Sixers. Luka had trouble against Ben Simmons, posting 19 points on 6-13 shooting with only four assists and seven turnovers. The Mavericks, who were without Kristaps Porzingis again, fell 99 to 111. Doncic posted a miserable +/- of -20 while Josh Richardson was even worse against his former team, with -24. The Mavs fall to 15-16 and snap a two game win streak.