AUSTIN- Chairwoman Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston) announced today that the Senate Committee on Jurisprudence will hold a hearing to examine the law and jurisprudence governing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC). Texas law charges the PUC with the duty to oversee ERCOT, and the hearing will study whether additional jurisprudential safeguards--such as statutes or administrative provisions--could have prevented the ongoing public utility crisis.
"The Senate Committee on Jurisprudence is committed to investigating the legal implications of ERCOT's and the PUC's action, or inaction, in contributing to this catastrophe across our State", Huffman said. "As critical entities to the State, their legal responsibilities to the people they serve must be crystal clear in state law. If there are ambiguities, inconsistencies, or potential deficiencies in state law, they must be addressed immediately through legislative action. I look forward to the opportunity to ask direct questions to the leaders of these entities in a public forum, because the people of Texas deserve answers and this committee will demand them."
The date of the hearing will be released in the coming days as the Senate prepares to reconvene. This hearing will focus on the legal responsibilities that ERCOT and the PUC owe to Texans, the legal relationship between these two entities, and the potential to implement additional legal safeguards to protect against a similar utilities crisis in the future. The hearing is intended to complement the upcoming hearing of the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce on February 25th by examining the crisis through a jurisprudential lens.
Once the hearing is publicly posted, you will be able to find the agenda here: https://bit.ly/3atUZva.