House Representative

Zwiener, Erin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 09/21/2021

Representative Zwiener Files Infrastructure Legislation

Driftwood, TX — Last week, Representative Zwiener (Driftwood) filed House Bill 11 and House Bill 12 to address the state’s infrastructure and energy usage in state buildings in response to the February winter storm.

“Texans were left in the dark with no water or heat during Winter Storm Uri,” Rep. Zwiener said. “This was preventable. Investing in our infrastructure is fiscally responsible and helps ensure that Texans never have to face another massive infrastructure failure again. In addition, the state should be the very first entity to conserve energy before we ask everyday Texans to go without heat or air conditioning.”

In February’s blackout, hundreds of people died largely due to hypothermia and carbon monoxide poisoning. At its peak, at least 4.5 million Texas homes and businesses were left in the dark and 14.9 million Texans faced water disruptions. In some cases, neighborhoods were without power for days, and water outages continued for weeks. 28 nursing homes around the state had to be evacuated, and hospitals were overwhelmed with dialysis patients because of closed dialysis centers.

House Bill 11 would create a critical infrastructure resiliency fund for weatherization, backup generation, smart metering, and other resiliency upgrades for critical infrastructure such as electric utilities, water and wastewater utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications.

House Bill 12 would create demand response guidelines to reduce energy consumption for state-owned buildings in response to energy supply constraints.

Contact: Taylor Bounds