ǿմý

Texas governor calls for $10 billion fund to boost gas power

By Shelby Webb | 07/02/2024 06:35 AM EDT

Greg Abbott said an existing energy fund should be doubled in size to meet surging electricity demand.

Greg Abbott speaks at an event where he announced his bid for re-election in San Antonio.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. Eric Gay/AP

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called Monday for doubling a state fund to $10 billion to support new natural gas generation.

Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, both Republicans, wrote in a joint statement that they were concerned by recent comments from the head of the state’s main grid operator that Texas may need as much as 150,000 megawatts of electricity online by 2030 to meet growing demand. Currently, the state can produce about 85,000 megawatts at maximum capacity, said Pablo Vegas, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, during testimony before a Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee meeting.

“If the new estimate is correct, the updated numbers provided by Mr. Vegas call for an immediate review of all policies concerning the grid,” wrote Abbott and Patrick.

Advertisement

The challenges facing the Texas electric grid were thrust in the national spotlight in 2021 when Winter Storm Uri caused widespread generation failures in the state, leading to power outages that lasted nearly a week. More than 200 people died as a result.

GET FULL ACCESS