Texas gubernatorial candidate Beto O'Rourke says that if he becomes governor, he will make Texas part of the national power grid. This would be a big change for Texas, which has its own power grid. The Texas power grid is not connected to the other US power grids. Texas has its own electric grid because when Texas became a state, it decided to keep control of its public utilities.
North American power transmission grid
The electrical power grid that powers Northern America is not a single grid, but is instead divided into multiple grids. The Eastern Interconnection and the Western Interconnection are the largest. Three other regions include the Texas Interconnection, the Quebec Interconnection, and the Alaska Interconnection. Each region delivers power to its geographic residents. The regions are not usually directly connected or synchronized to each other, but there are some Interconnections.
O'Rourke says that being part of the national power grid would make Texas more resistant to weather related outages, like the one that happened in February 2021. He also says that it would lead to lower energy costs for Texans.
Texas governor, Greg Abbott, has said he is opposed to making Texas part of the national power grid. Abbott says that Texas being part of the national power grid would put too much control of Texas' energy infrastructure in the hands of the federal government.
Governor Abbott met with business leaders in North Richland Hills, Texas today to discuss the Texas economy and issues facing Texas businesses. During his visit, Abbott answered questions from reporters regarding his opponent in the upcoming election, Beto O'Rourke's plan to make Texas a part of the National power grid.
Governor Abbott stated, "The power grid in Texas is far more reliable than it has ever been,” he went on to say that he thought any efforts to tie Texas into the national grid would be, "misguided".
Parts of Texas are already on the national power grid including, El Paso, TX, O'Rourke's hometown. El Paso is on the Western Interconnection, which is one of the three major power grids in North America. The Western Interconnection stretches from Canada to Mexico and covers most of the western United States. El Paso is also on the El Paso Electric grid, which supplies power to El Paso and parts of New Mexico and Texas. O'Rourke has said that he will make Texas part of the National Power Grid, which would mean that Texas would be connected to the other two major power grids in North America, the Eastern Interconnection and the Quebec Interconnection.
The Eastern Interconnection covers most of the eastern United States, as well as parts of Canada and Mexico. The Quebec Interconnection covers parts of Canada and the northeastern United States. Connecting Texas to these two grids would give Texans access to a reliable and affordable power supply. It would also make Texas less vulnerable to power outages
O'Rourke has said that he will work with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to make sure that Texas is properly connected to the national power grid. ERCOT is the organization that manages the electric grid in Texas. Connecting Texas to the national power grid would be a massive undertaking, and it's unclear how long it would take or how much it would cost. But O'Rourke says he is committed to making it happen.
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Should Texas be connected to the national power grid?
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