Gov. Abbott holds emergency meeting with members of Texas Legislature to discuss energy bill spikes
AUSTIN, Texas (News Release) - Governor Greg Abbott today convened a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, Speaker Dade Phelan, and members of the Legislature to discuss the spike in energy bills affecting many Texans following the recent power outages throughout the state.
“We have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages,” said Governor Abbott. “Today’s meeting was productive, and I applaud Republican and Democrat members of the Legislature for putting aside partisan politics to work together on this challenge. We are moving quickly to alleviate this problem and will continue to work collaboratively throughout this week on solutions to help Texas families and ensure they do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”
A readout of the meeting can be found below:
Governor Abbott opened the call by discussing financial challenges many Texans will face as a result of the winter storm. He also gave an update on his conversations with the White House and potential federal relief that may be available to Texans. The Governor discussed the need to ensure that Texans are not left with unreasonable utility bills they cannot afford because of the temporary massive spike in the energy market. Senator West stressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together on this issue. The Senator noted that this group of legislators and state leaders will not allow politics to get in the way of solving this problem for Texans. Lt. Governor Patrick and Speaker Phelan discussed the need to swiftly develop a solution for Texans. The discussion with legislators focused on the need to quickly calculate the total cost of these energy bills and how the state can help reduce this burden. The call concluded with a discussion about addressing the immediate needs of Texans and how to ensure that Texans are protected long-term.
In addition to the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House, the following legislators attended the meeting:
Senate Jane Nelson – Chair of Senate Finance Committee
Senator Eddie Lucio Jr. – Vice-Chair of Senate Finance Committee
Senator Kelly Hancock – Chair of Senate Business and Commerce Committee
Senator Robert Nichols – Vice-Chair of Senate Business and Commerce Committee
Senator Royce West - Vice-Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee
Representative Greg Bonnen – Chair of House Appropriations Committee
Representative Chris Paddie – Chair of House State Affairs Committee
Representative Ana Hernandez – Vice Chair of House State Affairs Committee
Representative Craig Goldman – Chair of House Energy Resources Committee