Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference in Austin on May 18, 2020.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks at a press conference in Austin on May 18, 2020. Lynda M. Gonzalez/Pool/Getty Images

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, the county’s director of emergency management, says the fault of the power and water crisis in Texas “lies squarely on Rick Perry and the current Gov. Greg Abbott.” 

“They and their team passed the regulations that tell people whether or not they need to winterize. They chose not to tell companies…that they need to winterize,” he told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota. “…They’re now trying to blame it on a company called ERCOT that Gov. Abbott hired. They can easily fire that company and hire another one.” 

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, is an independent organization that operates Texas’ power grid.

“If they don’t take responsibility and fix this and by putting in winterization guidelines for gas lines that are frozen underground and for energy generators that haven’t worked because they’re not winterized, this will happen again. The fault lies with those two individuals alone,” Jenkins said, adding that the Railroad Commission of Texas also “shoulder[s] the responsibility for not modernizing the gas pipeline system.”

Some background: In a blog posted on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s website, former Texas Gov. and Energy Secretary Rick Perry said that his home state’s current situation can be traced to “insufficient baseload power,” and claims that he and his fellow Texans will go without power for a longer period if it keeps the federal government from over-regulating their power grid.

“Extreme weather in Texas and around the world now is a completely predictable event,” Jenkins said. 

“So to say that you’re fine with three days of power outage, and that’s the price you’ll pay, is a false choice,” he added on Perry’s statements. 

About 23,000 people in Dallas County have been without power for three days, Jenkins said, and crews are working to restore it. 

“What we have now is lines and transformers that are frozen during the time the power was out, that after they were re-energized, they were found to be faulty,” he explained. 

Watch Judge Clay Jenkins: