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Fix the grid

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What Texans suffered during February’s great winter storm can never happen again.

As temperatures stayed below freezing for several days, and millions went without electricity or water, it became painfully clear no one was in charge.

When essential services were needed most, they were unavailable. Texas, which has the ninth-largest economy on the planet, suddenly entered the Dark Ages.

Today, the misery many of us endured during the blackouts already seems like ancient history, but it’s really not. The lingering effects may even be putting a chill on your bank account. The last few weeks, utility companies have foreshadowed higher energy costs passed on to consumers.

Nor will this be the last time Old Man Winter delivers such an icy blow to the Lone Star State, according to climate predictions.

For years, Texas utilities received warnings about a potential and catastrophic collapse of the state’s electrical grid. Yet, officials failed to assess previous episodes and correlate energy needs with population and business growth.

Changing the guard at local and state utility boards and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which controls the grid, must continue.

Texas also has to overhaul its energy-production systems and electric availability commensurate with the last five years of expansion.

The Legislature must authorize the means to winterize vulnerable equipment and safeguard the system so residents are protected for the next crisis.

Texans not only deserve answers, but solutions. This tragedy cannot be repeated.

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