AUSTIN – “Who turned my power off? I want to know who did that,” said State Rep. Todd Hunter Thursday during a House hearing at the capitol.
Hunter’s question is one that families frantically asked during last week’s historic winter storms in Texas. Hunter, who is out of the Corpus Christi area, grilled NRG Energy CEO Mauricio Gutierrez in search of accountability.
“Number one, Mr. Gutierrez, who is at fault?” said Hunter.
Hunter put the heat on those whose industry couldn’t keep it on for millions of Texans.
“I want names and details,” said Hunter.
Hunter made it clear to Gutierrez.
“I want groups, I don’t need to hear about winterization, the people want to know who to look to?,” said Hunter.
Hunter, a lawyer by trade, was not satisfied with one particular response telling Vistra CEO Curt Morgan, “Name me details. I want details. Don’t give me a lawyer’s analysis. I want details.”
Hunter even describing a practical analogy to justify his line of questioning.
“You can’t go forward until you fix the car,” he said.
Following the hearing, both CEOs made a quick exit, Morgan admitted shortcomings to KPRC 2 Investigates.
“We always want to do better. Nobody’s perfect,” Morgan said.
The lack of perfection resulted in dozens of lives lost, billions in destruction, and tens of thousands left struggling. Important to also keep in mind all of it in the midst of a deadly pandemic which is why there are calls for an imperfect industry to change,
“There is a lot of things that we can do differently. The entire industry can do differently,” said Gutierrez.
The investigation and transformational change desired by many will take time.
“Today was the first day of school for many legislators,” one Austin insider told KPRC 2 in reference to understating the energy sector’s in Texas and the role of its players.