AUSTIN, Texas — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced in a Tuesday notice to the Public Utility Commission of Texas that four of its board members will resign effective Wednesday, Feb. 24.
A fifth board member separately submitted her resignation.
Gov. Greg Abbott sent out a statement saying he welcomed the resignations.
"The State of Texas will continue to investigate ERCOT and uncover the full picture of what went wrong, and we will ensure that the disastrous events of last week are never repeated," Abbott's statement read in part.
According to the filing, here's who will resign following Wednesday's ERCOT board meeting:
- Board Chairman Sally Talberg
- Board Vice Chairman Peter Crampton
- Finance and Audit Committee Chairman Terry Bulger
- Human Resources Governance Committee Chairman Raymond Hepper
- Market Segment Director Vanessa Anesetti-Parra
All five members who are resigning live out of state, records show.
The resignation letter from Talberg, Crampton, Bulger and Hepper acknowledged these concerns, the filings show.
"We have noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT. To allow state leaders a free hand with future direction and to eliminate distractions, we are resigning from the board effective after our urgent board teleconference meeting adjourns on Wednesday, February 24, 2021," part of the resignation letter read.
Anesetti-Parra is the market segment director for the Independent Retail Electric Provider Market Segment and also sits on the board. She submitted her resignation to the Utility Commission separately.
In addition, Craig S. Ivey, who had applied to fill a board vacancy, has withdrawn as a board candidate.
“We look forward to working with the Texas Legislature, and we thank the outgoing Board Members for their service," ERCOT said in a statement Tuesday.
Last week, amid growing frustrations and public outcry during the winter storms in Texas, ERCOT removed the names of its board members from its website. It has since restored those names. Prior to being pulled down, the biographies listed Talbert as a former state utility regulator in Michigan. Records indicate she lives in Williamston, Michigan.
Crampton was listed as an economics professor at the University of Cologne in Germany and at the University of Maryland, the website biography said.
The ERCOT Board elected Talbert and Cramton to serve in their leadership positions just weeks ago on Feb. 9. Talbert began serving as an “unaffiliated” director on the ERCOT Board on Jan. 1, 2021, and Cramton served as an “unaffiliated” director since October 2015, according to an ERCOT press release.
Other ERCOT board members whose record indicate live out-of-state include:
- Bulger, who lives int in Wheaton, Ill., according to the ERCOT website.
- Hepper, who was listed as a retired general counsel and officer for a New England company. Records indicate he now lives in Maine.
- Anesetti-Parra was listed as serving as vice president of regulatory and compliance for an energy company. A social media page lists her home as Toronto.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner issued the following statement on the resignations:
"Last week, Houstonians and communities across our state found themselves vulnerable and literally in the dark due to ERCOT's mismanagement of the power grid. Having out-of-state board members resign will not change the failed oversight by the Public Utility Commission or the lack of common sense policy by the Texas Legislature.
"ERCOT alone should not be made the scapegoat. When I was in the Texas legislature, I filed a bill in 2011 relating to the PUC to ensure ERCOT has adequate reserve power to prevent blackout conditions. That bill never got a hearing.
"The PUC oversees ERCOT, and the governor appoints all three commissioners. The resignations do not change the fact that the PUC and the Texas Legislature failed to provide oversight or enact common-sense policy.
"The time to act is now. I urge the 87th Texas Legislature to make the necessary changes to the oversight of our electric grid to prevent this type of disaster from happening in the future."