First came astronomical bills, and next comes the shut-off for those who can't pay those bills.
On Thursday, Raw Story reported that one woman was sent a bill for over $202,000. While she was lucky to have her energy company tell her that it was a mistake, other Texans haven't been as lucky.
Power supplier Griddy told their 29,000 customers that they needed to stop using their services because they expected a spike. Some weren't able to handle it in time. Texan Royce Pierce said that he owed $7,000 for two days. A few days later, that grew to $10,434. Last year, at this time, he paid just $330 a month.
In May 2020, Texas regulators voted to ban companies from shutting off utilities due to lack of payment during the coronavirus crisis, the Texas Tribune reported. It is likely to happen again with the astronomical bills during the winter storm.
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) said this weekend that a moratorium on shut-offs is needed while the state legislature deals with bills that people can't afford to pay, the Dallas Morning News reported.
"Texans who had suffered through days of freezing cold without power should not be subjected to skyrocketing due to a spike in the energy market," Abbott said. "This is something that is being fast-tracked that legislators are working on as we speak at this moment in time right now."
The astronomical bills are drawing demands from both sides of the aisle.
It was "100 percent this was preventable," Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) said during a "Meet the Press" appearance` Sunday. "This wasn't a problem with any individual fuel source. This was a problem of lack of leadership and lack of long-term planning."
"You know, in 2011, there were hearings in the Statehouse talking about ensuring that there was reliability," Hurd continued. "ERCOT and state leaders at the time said that these — the energy companies could self-regulate and make sure that happens. We can have cheap prices and reliable energy at the same time. And you know, we always talk about, this was a black swan event. This was an event that doesn't happen, you know, often. The only thing I've learned in my time in government and the CIA is that the only thing about black swans is that black swans actually happen, and we need to be prepared."
Watch Hurd's comments below: