ERCOT, the state-controlled electric grid operator taking most of the initial blame for widespread blackouts and for all of the attendant misery over the last week, answers to the Public Utility Commission of Texas.

The governor appoints the members of the PUC and names which of the three of them will be chair. The state’s utility regulators are operating according to laws written and approved by the Texas Legislature.

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Contact him at

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