AUSTIN – Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick issued the following statement regarding the Texas Power Grid Investment Summit to be held on February 6th in Houston.
“The Texas economy is red-hot. We are global marketplace leaders as our conservative policies, including no income tax and minimal regulation, continue to attract businesses and grow jobs. We have added nearly 12 million people since 2000. Improving the Texas grid is essential for the Texas Miracle to continue throughout the 21st century and beyond.
“We must have reliable dispatchable generation to meet the ever-increasing demand. Since becoming Lt. Governor, the Senate and I have fought for more dispatchable gas-fired generation available on the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid.
“Texas leads the nation in wind energy and is increasing our solar energy footprint. Renewables are an important part of our energy portfolio. However, over the last 15-20 years, renewables have received the bulk of federal energy incentives, creating an uneven playing field for investment in dispatchable power.
“The result is we no longer have enough immediately dispatchable generation to power the grid during critical times when the wind is not blowing, and the sun is not out. We need 10,000 MW of dispatchable power and natural gas plants as soon as we can build them. This need was highlighted in 2021 when Winter Storm Uri devastated our state.
“Another issue of great concern is Wall Street turning its back on our vital oil and gas industry and the millions of Texans who rely upon it. In 2021, during the 87th Regular Session, I prioritized Senate Bill 13, by Sen. Birdwell, R-Granbury, to defend and support our oil and gas industry by creating a blacklist of companies we believed were not fossil fuel-friendly. We aimed to encourage Wall Street to increase their investments in Texas fossil fuels and drop ESG and DEI requirements from any negotiation.
“Last year, BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink reached out to me to meet after the company was placed on that blacklist. He has traveled to Texas twice. Both meetings were productive and positive. The second meeting was the catalyst for the upcoming conference.
“I am pleased that BlackRock is inviting potential investors from Texas and across the country to Houston on February 6th. The goal is to strengthen our grid by encouraging the building of natural gas plants either by direct investment or by taking advantage of the incentive plan we passed in SB 2627 by Sen. Schwertner, R-Georgetown, in 2023 during the 88th Regular Session.
“My stance on Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policies have not and will not change. They should not be part of any funding agreement in Texas.
“I appreciate BlackRock, especially Larry Fink, for bringing a variety of investors to this conference. I look forward to this summit and finding partners who share our vision. Texas is, by any measure, the best place on the planet to invest.
BlackRock Chairman and CEO Larry Fink issued the following statement:
“This Summit represents a unique opportunity for a wide array of energy market leaders in Texas to shine a light on a complex, but important issue. We’re happy to partner with Texas officials to discuss the potential for new investment in this critical infrastructure sector. Bringing together the capital, the opportunity, and the decision-makers can help lead to a renewed development boom in the power sector in Texas. However, the challenge of creating greater grid resilience at an affordable price isn’t unique to Texas—it’s a challenge across America. Texas and Lt. Governor Patrick are demonstrating leadership in seeking to address it.”