The CIDs are regarding power outages, emergency plans, energy pricing, and more related to the severe winter weather that impacted the state and left millions of Texans without power and heat this week.
"I’m using the full scope of my Constitutional powers to launch an investigation into ERCOT and other entities that grossly mishandled this week’s extreme winter weather. While Texans pulled together to get their communities through this disaster, they were largely left in the dark," said Paxton in a release. "We will get to the bottom of this power failure and I will tirelessly pursue justice for Texans."
The 12 power companies issued CIDs are:
- AEP Texas
- Calpine Corporation
- CenterPoint Energy Services
- Griddy Energy
- La Frontera Holdings
- Luminant Generation Company
- NRG Texas Power
- Oncor Electric Delivery Company
- Panda Sherman Power
- Temple Generation I
- Texas-New Mexico Power Company
On Friday, a Corpus Christi man filed a lawsuit against ERCOT and AEP Texas. The lawsuit says the Texas energy grid is able to handle more power than what was needed this week almost every summer, stating that summertime power demands regularly reach 125,000 megawatts, eclipsing the 69,000 megawatts that caused ERCOT's and AEP Texas' power systems to fail.
The lawsuit also alleges not enough was done to prepare after similar storms in 1989 and 2011.
"Texas had practically identical failures in 1989 and 2011 that resulted in exhaustive reports and recommendations," said Fears Nachawati trial lawyer Patrick Luff in a release. "This was an emergency solely because of a failure to plan and learn previous lessons."
Gov. Greg Abbott has already called for an investigation into ERCOT's handling of the outages. "What happened this week to Texans is absolutely unacceptable and can never be replicated again," he said in a briefing Thursday afternoon at the Alternate State Operations Center in Austin.
Abbott said Thursday that just days before Texas got hit with this winter storm, ERCOT leadership assured the public that they were winterizing power plants and were prepared to meet the need.
"ERCOT failed on each of these measures that they said they had undertaken," said Abbott. "Texans deserve answers about why the shortfalls occurred and how they’re going to be corrected, and Texans will get those answers."
ERCOT said Friday that it has ended emergency conditions and is back to normal operations.