Texas Gets Pollution Waiver Due To Power Grid Stress

The Texas Tribune reports:

The U.S. Department of Energy has cleared the way for Texas power plants to pollute more than is usually allowed, such as by burning dirtier fuel oil instead of natural gas, to keep the electricity on through Christmas morning.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked for permission to exceed normal federal air quality restrictions after underestimating the demand for power during this week’s subfreezing temperatures.

With power demand reaching an unexpected high Friday, some power production went offline, according to ERCOT officials. “ERCOT does not lightly request this authorization,” ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas wrote to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

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