SocraticGadfly: Winter storm kabuki theater under the Pink Dome

March 08, 2021

Winter storm kabuki theater under the Pink Dome

You know what I'm talking about.

ERCOT CEO Bill Magness getting fired by his board and PUC Chairwoman DeAnn Walker resigning under pressure? It's all kabuki theater, Danny Goeb, for two reasons:
1. None of you talked about the Railroad Commission, in spite of those natural gas lines freezing up. I know, they're all elected, but still ...
2. We haven't seen a bill yet, especially not a bill that mandates weatherization requirements for ALL THREE agencies.

Until then? Kabuki theater, and we dive into the Roundup, starting in that area.

More here at the Trib on how the RRC, and oil and gas companies it regulates, have dodged the eye of Danny Goeb, Strangeabbott and the GOP for what's surely deliberate reasons, but have also seemingly flown under the radar of most Dems. The three commissioners may be elected, but ... their scope of duties and required duties can still be controlled by legislation. (In the story, an O&G lawyer argues the RRC has the power to require weatherization right now. But, until it's forced to, it won't. C'mon.)

The real problem at the PUC, as Justin Miller notes, is one that plagues many federal regulatory agencies as well: the revolving door. At least on paper, the feds have addressed this with "time-out windows" of two years or more. Until the Lege does that, too, it's still kabuki theater. And, Miller helpfully reminds us that the PUC also regulates water and telecommunications. Follow the links inside that piece; and, if you're a Republican reading this, not just Dem or beyond, demand action from YOUR Legiscritter.

Meanwhile, ERCOT's focus on a supply market rather than a capacity market, has left it more than a bit light in the financial loafers. Will We the Consumer take the hit? Of course. This is Tex-ass.

And, reminder: Until more Dems get serious about the RRC ... until more Dems get serious about ConservaDems involvement in the root of the problem ... until more Dems get serious about the Texas equivalent of needing to restore the original Glass-Steagall ...

(This is important because national neoliberal Dems have fought against a straight reimposition of Glass-Steagall, and because in Texas, too many ConservaDems believe in a version of Texas exceptionalism.)

Things won't really change.

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