Member's Page

Rep.Toth, Steve

member image

REPRESENTATIVE STEVE TOTH FILES LEGISLATION TO PROTECT TEXAS ELECTRIC GRID 
print page

by: Rep. Toth, Steve
03/11/2021

Austin, TX – Thursday morning, Representative Steve Toth (The Woodlands) filed H.B. 3716 as a companion to S.B. 1488 by Senator Bob Hall (Canton) to protect Texas from electric grid equipment manufactured by foreign adversaries.

“It’s no longer a theory or a question,” said Rep. Toth, “our grid is vulnerable. During the recent winter freeze we were only a matter of minutes away from the grid's total collapse and upwards of two to three months of Texans sitting in the dark. We must have a secure grid, but right now our grid can’t adequately defend against winter weather. That’s why I'm filing the Bulk-Power System Protection Act to prevent ERCOT from repairing our grid with equipment manufactured by foreign countries. Risking electric outages because of faulty or counterfeit equipment is unacceptable.”

Rep. Toth outlined the necessary steps for the Texas grid to reach resiliency:

“First, we need new leadership at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). I filed H.B. 3592 to restructure the leadership of ERCOT and the Public Utilities Commission. Second, we need more reliable excess energy capacity to be generated in Texas. Where we once operated with 20-25% excess capacity, today we operate at barely 10% excess capacity with nearly one-third of total capacity coming from unreliable energy sources like wind and solar. To this end, I filed H.B. 3593 to require wind-powered generation facilities to maintain supplementary generation capacity like natural gas backups. If these operators fail to generate at least three-fourths of their nameplate capacity they face losing their registration. There’s no excuse for the Energy Capital of the World to be without energy. Texans don’t care about awards for green energy; we care about having power we can use to keep our young children and elderly parents warm and safe. Third, Texas needs to protect our electric grid’s infrastructure from foreign actors. That’s where my bill, the Texas Grid Security Act comes in.”

Rep. Toth pointed out the need for legislation to fill the gap created by the Biden Administration’s suspension of President Trump’s protective executive order. The now suspended order had prohibited the installation of electric equipment manufactured by foreign countries. Trump’s Executive Order 13920 explains the need for the policy:

“…foreign adversaries are increasingly creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in the United States bulk-power system, which provides the electricity that supports our national defense, vital emergency services, critical infrastructure, economy, and way of life.”

Steve Toth is a small business owner representing South Montgomery County in the Texas House of Representatives. Representative Toth has appeared as a contributor on CNN, Fox News, Fox Business News, OAN, and KTRH.

For inquiries, please contact: Trent Williams - (254) 935-0387, Trent.Williams@house.texas.gov.

Contact Info

Email

Capitol Address:
District Address:

Room E2.212

P.O. Box 2910

Austin, TX 78768

(512) 463-0797

(512) 463-0898 Fax

25700 Interstate Hwy 45, Ste. 100

Spring, TX 77386

(346) 220-0300