ERCOT, the nonprofit that operates and manages the Texas electrical grid fired CEO Bill Magness Wednesday night. His ouster comes amid the search for accountability, and blame, following the state’s massive grid failure that left over 4 million without power and led to a still unknown number of deaths in the wake of extreme cold throughout the region. Magness’s firing, which will take effect in 60 days, follows the resignation of DeAnn Walker, the former chairwoman of the state public utility commission.
Magness has defended ERCOT’s handling of the crisis — caused by multiple factors including a massive failure of the gas extraction and distribution system and the state’s failure to address shortcomings revealed by a major winter storm a decade ago — which he said could have been worse. (Texas Tribune, New York Times $, E&E $, Houston Chronicle, CNN, AP, Austin-American Statesman, Dallas Morning News; Search for accountability: ABC; Climate Signals background: February 2021 polar vortex breakdown and central US winter storms)