We watch a three-hour House State Affairs Committee hearing so you don’t have to! Seriously, though, the future reliability of the Texas electrical grid is really starting to freak state legislators the fuck out. The watchword these days is “resource adequacy” — bureaucrat-ese for “Remember those outages last summer and last February? If Texas utilities don’t start putting steel in the ground, don’t bother spending too much on perishables.”

On hand to testify today were ERCOT chief Trip Doggett and Texas Public Utility Commission chair Donna Nelson. The problem, they tell us, is that the utilities aren’t making enough money to want to invest in more power plants. And since ERCOT, the entity charged with maintaining electrical grid reliability, is operating a deregulated marketplace, that’s nothing but free-market magic! See, natural gas sets the margin most of the time, and natural gas is dirt-cheap these days. Fantastic for us! Shitty for them.

Keep reading at the Dallas Observer.