February 23, 2021

Texas Winter Storm Update

The 11th District and the Great State of Texas was put to the test last week as millions faced freezing temperatures, extensive power outages, limited access to clean water, and devastating damages to our homes, businesses, and infrastructure. My own family lost power for multiple days and suffered water damage.

Despite the challenges, my team and I stayed in daily contact with city, county, state, and federal officials and agencies, as well as with thousands of constituents, to identify and communicate the urgent needs of the 11th District.

In addition to communicating with and advocating for our district, I took action to make sure we understand what went wrong with our power grid and ensure it never happens again.

Texas Winter Storm Resources

My office has prepared some resources to help you recover from last week's winter storm including: what to do if you receive an exceptionally high utility bill, disaster assistance information, how to recognize scammers, and more.

You can find those on my website here.
We Deserve Answers from ERCOT

On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to ERCOT offering assistance and requesting answers for why millions of Texans were without power during the winter weather emergency.

Notably, we asked to be provided with written answers for these critical questions:

  1. How did ERCOT prepare for this weather event and anticipate energy demand prior to when the controlled blackouts began?
  2. It has been reported that ERCOT will adjust rates to meet demand. How will this impact future energy prices in Texas?
  3. How were the various types of energy generation impacted by the extreme cold weather
  4. What is the likelihood of similar weather events impacting Texas’s electric grid again?
  5. What measures can be taken to improve grid resiliency in Texas in the future?

You can read the full letter at this link.
Imploring President Biden to Authorize Assistance for Texas Counties

On Friday, I led a group of 19 Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation and sent a letter to President Biden asking him to approve the major disaster declaration issued by Governor Abbott. You can read more about that letter here.

Public Assistance for all 254 counties was approved by President Biden, but Individual Assistance was only approved for 77 Texas Countiesnotably excluding most of West Texas and the 11th District.

Individual Assistance allows folks to directly apply for temporary housing and home repair grants, low-cost loans that cover uninsured property losses, and other programs for individuals and business owners as they recover from the disaster.

Texans know that all 254 counties are suffering from exorbitant loss and destruction from the winter storm, and President Biden's initial declaration falls fall short of the actual needs of our state.

Yesterday, I rallied a bipartisan group of 27 Members of the Texas Congressional Delegation and sent another letter to President Biden imploring him to immediately approve FEMA Individual Assistance program for all 254 counties in Texas.

Read the letter below or at this link.
Texas Needs a Reliable Base Load

Last week was an example of just how dire the circumstances can be without power and energy. Texas must have a reliable base load for our energy grid and a level playing field for all forms of energy production. Watch my interview affirming the importance of the oil and gas industry here or below.
Have Damage? Take This Survey!

The Texas Dept. of Emergency Management is asking folks to complete a survey and detail the damage they suffered as a result of Winter Storm Uri. This will allow us to assess the damage across our communities and properly advocate for the critical relief we need.

Thank you, TX-11 Heroes

My team and I stayed busy last week calling constituents and local leaders in all 29 counties across the 11th District. In the process, we heard hundreds of heartwarming stories of heroism, generosity, and Texans taking care of each other.

There are thousands of hard-working folks in our district who deserve a heart-felt "Thank You" for working around the clock in painfully cold temperatures to restore power and water and provide emergency services to our communities.

Thank you to the first responders, powerline workers, healthcare workers, farmers & ranchers, energy workers, water workers, transportation workers, and citizens who have been working tirelessly around the clock in painfully-cold temperatures to help their fellow Texans during this winter storm.

Each of our City, County, and State officials deserve monster-credit for the work they did as our voice and advocate at every level. It never ceases to amaze me how selfless and kind the people in this community are, even when faced with an emergency.

I’d also like to thank the many citizens who stepped up to the plate last week to help their neighbors and community members during this turbulent moment. There were harrowing stories of folks opening their homes, taking to the streets for rescue efforts, clearing the roads of ice and snow, and much more.

I am incredibly proud of this District—it never ceases to amaze me how kind, decent, and selfless the people of the 11th District are are.

Our state still faces an uphill climb repairing monster water leaks, assessing infrastructure damage, investigating what happened, and ensuring we have proper safeguards in place to prevent it from ever happening again. This crisis has really tested us, but we have shown just how resilient we are.

Thank you for reading. It is the honor of my lifetime to serve you in Congress. Please follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for daily updates.

Rep. August Pfluger
Member of Congress