Dear editor:

It has been reported that ERCOT believes electricity shut downs are possible during any future winter storm; yet it was also reported that 345,000 volts of electricity will be utilized by the new Steel Dynamics plant in Sinton. This will result in some $8 million dollars per month to the provider of that electricity, which will, of course, be the reason they will likely be the last entity to get shut down.

We, the voters, should consider this possibility and vote for those candidates who support legislation that requires high voltage users to be the first that are cut back or totally shut down in order to maintain uninterrupted electric service to residential and normal business locations.

In addition to Steel Dynamics, other large users are manufacturers, petroleum refineries, and related facilities across the state. It should be possible to establish a schedule of rolling blackouts so these entities can prepare for a winter storm just as they prepare for hurricanes.

Obviously, any user that is directly involved in providing electricity would be exempt from shut down based on the amount of energy they use in order to produce electricity. For example, the natural gas industry provides the energy to keep electricity-producing facilities from freezing. The order in which they might be shut down, and the length of such a shut down, could be determined by computer modeling.

It is probably too late to call a special session of the Legislature to deal with the matter before any storm this winter, but candidates for Governor and other state offices should be asked to address the matter during the campaign.


Edmond E. Bates Jr.

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