Another Texas regulator resigns following February blackouts
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Another Texas utility regulator appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott resigned Monday following the deadly February blackouts that left millions of people without electricity or heat for days.
The state’s Public Utility Commission said in a terse statement that Commissioner Sherry Botkin was stepping down immediately. She is the second commissioner to leave, joining former Chairwoman DeAnn Walker, who resigned last week.
The commission is responsible for regulating the Texas power grid and is under intensifying scrutiny following one of the worst blackouts in U.S. history. More than 4 million customers lost electricity in subfreezing temperatures, and the winter storm and resulting outages are blamed for more than 50 deaths.
Botkin joins a growing list of energy regulators and leaders who have resigned or lost their job in the wake of the blackouts. Last week, the head of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas was fired. CEO Bill Magness was making more than $800,000 in compensation.
Arthur D’Andrea, who was promoted to succeed Walker in the PUC chair, is the lone remaining commissioner.