A second member of the Texas public utility commission has submitted her resignation in the aftermath of the widespread power outages in the state that left millions without power during a severe cold wave and continues to cause tens of thousands to live under a “boil water” advisory
According to the Associated Press, Shelly Botkin resigned effective immediately. Last week, DeAnn Walker resigned as the PUC’s chair.
Last week, PUC Chairman Arthur D’Andrea, chosen to replace Walker, and Botkin voiced opposition to repricing some of the more outrageous bills issued to some consumers, who were charged five-figure sums for a month’s worth of power. The two commissioners said that doing so would be unfair to power producers and have unforeseen consequences.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the operator of the stand-alone power grid in Texas, raised wholesale prices as a way to encourage power producers to increase power generation. This led to thousands of consumers who linked their power bills to wholesale prices to receive skyrocketing bills.
“We’re losing more of the old guard here,” said Tim Morstad, associate state director for consumer advocacy group AARP Texas. “The situation demands that Governor Abbott take this opportunity to bring in people with new ideas and a fresh approach.”