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Former Texas electric utility chief testifies Abbott instructed him to jack up rates during February 2021 winter storm clusterfuck

Former ERCOT CEO Bill Magness testified in court Wednesday that Governor Greg Abbott, through an intermediary, specifically instructed him keep electric rates jacked up during last Februrary’s apocalyptic clusterfuck of freezing temperatures, a winter storm, and massive, days long blackouts that cost as many as 1,000 Texans their lives, hit tens of thousands of others with four and five figure bills for a week’s worth of electricity, and caused their cowardly Senator to abandon his dog and flee to Mexico (which he blamed on his daughters for) while a Congresswoman from New York raised millions in charitable donations for relief for the state, the Houston Chronicle reports.

During all of that the governor told this guy – who was promptly fired afterward – to jack up electricity bills for Texans by keeping rates at the maximum cap of $9,000 per megawatt hour. “[Former Public Utility Commission Chairwoman DeAnn Walker] told me the governor had conveyed to her if we emerged from rotating outages it was imperative they not resume,” Magness testified, under pain of perjury. “We needed to do what we needed to do to make it happen.” The order, made after skyrocketing demand due to most home heating in Texas electric based rather than natural gas or oil-fueled in northern states caused a near total collapse of the state’s grid, was meant to discourage larger users like factories and petrochemical facilities to stay shut down while keeping the juice on for residential users as power plants came back online.

From that perspective it seems an understandable enough strategy in a triage situation as hundreds of Texans were perishing from carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia in subfreezing temperatures, something a real man would own up to and explain to voters as a necessary measure. Naturally Greg Abbott denied having anything to do with the decision, telling reporters through a spokesman the he was not “involved in any way,” and accusing Magness of “disinformation”, meaning Beto O’Rourke’s campaign ad writers can go home early today.

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