American Consequences - March 2021


companies have left the Golden State to set up shop in Austin. And they won’t be the last. Cactus said just in the last six months, residential real estate has tripled. And another pitch: in Texas, your kids can actually go to in-person school . But he doesn’t think the population influx is solely COVID-driven. There are other economic incentives, e.g., there’s no income tax in Texas. UNRELIABLE POWER SOURCES When I asked Cactus who bears the bulk of the blame after this frosted calamity, he laid out the broken pieces for me... “Well, here’s the power structure. You have the governor on top. And he appoints three of the chairpersons on the PUC. The head PUC chairwoman – DeAnn Walker – already resigned. I’m relatively sure that the other chair will follow suit. And those three people

on the PUC were making over $200,000 a year. Gov. Abbott makes $153,000 a year. It seems like there’s a little problem there . “The PUC is over ERCOT. And ERCOT, at that time, had 15 board members – with five of those board members from out of state. Now, how the hell do you get an appointment for five out-of-state board members for the Texas ERCOT?” Something’s rotten in Austin... Cactus tells me these five ERCOT members are already gone and balks at the salary of ERCOT’s CEO, Bill Magnus, who makes nearly a million dollars a year. “When the ERCOT CEO is getting paid $876,000, then you better be informed. “And not only that. Twenty of the other executives or board members were paid between $200,000 and $548,000 a year. Once again, Abbott makes less money than


March 2021

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