REP. JARED PATTERSON REFILES BILL TO CORRECT MARKET PRICE DISTORTIONS THAT HAVE LED TO ELECTRICITY SHORTAGES IN TEXASFebruary 18, 2021
For Immediate Release
February 17, 2021
(Frisco, TX) – Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott made reforming the Texas electricity grid operator, Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a state emergency item. Today, Representative Patterson refiled legislation from last session to ensure that ERCOT accounts for the massive proliferation of wind power on Texas’ electric grid.
HB 1951 would require the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and ERCOT to adopt rules, operating procedures, and protocols to eliminate or compensate for any of the price distortion that is caused by the Production Tax Credit (PTC). The PTC is a federal subsidy for the commercial production of wind energy that provides a tax credit for each Megawatt hour of energy sold by the wind companies. This legislation would ensure that responsibility for the price of producing and maintaining capacity are assumed by the parties imposing the costs, not the taxpayers.
Two years ago, Patterson recognized that highly subsidized wind power has flooded the market, making it unattractive to investors who prefer stable and reliable sources of electric generation.
As is evident by the recent winter storm that left nearly 4.5 million Texans without power, electric reliability is absolutely key for consumers, and the PTC is hurting this important factor. Even though Texas is the top producer of wind power in the country by a long shot, this February storm is not the first energy shortage that Texans have experienced, as similar shortages occurred in August of 2019.
Patterson stated, “The situation from this week in which the Texas grid lacked sufficient power to provide necessary utilities to consumers was absolutely avoidable, and those with their hand on the switch will be held accountable. I understand that wind is not the sole cause of this issue, but it is one of the fundamental reasons that our market does not have sufficient generation capacity. As the ninth largest economy on Earth, it is past time to eliminate subsidies to the Green New Deal programs. Texans will no longer support, financially or otherwise, companies who cannot perform when they are desperately needed.”
Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Calendars, and Homeland Security & Public Safety. He also serves on the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.