Top Texas utility regulator steps down amid outrage over blackout disaster
The Texas Capitol grounds are covered in snow on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021, in Austin, Texas. - JAY JANNER/Austin American-Statesman/TNS

On Monday, The Dallas Morning News reported that the top utility regulator in Texas has resigned amid backlash to the catastrophic collapse of the state power grid in the face of a freak winter storm in February.

"DeAnn Walker, who led the Texas Public Utility Commission and was heavily criticized last week during legislative hearings for failing to prepare utility providers for last month's power failures, notified Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday of her resignation, which is effective immediately," reported Robert Garrett and James Barragán. "Walker, who made $201,000 as chairwoman, said she accepted responsibility for her role in the power outages, but called on other responsible parties to do the same. She said the electric grid's failure was not caused by one individual or group and that many people and companies contributed to the situation the state faced during the winter storm."

The announcement comes hours after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for Walker and the CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to step down.

Texas is the only of the lower 48 states to have its own independent power grid, a system set up to prevent congressional regulation. Since the storm, the failure of Texas power plants to winterize, and the increase in energy costs for consumers, has put this system under scrutiny.