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There’s plenty to be angry about after suffering through the past week’s winter storms. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas made promises it couldn’t keep, and one of our senators abandoned ship just as it was taking on water.

Sen. Ted Cruz came under fire from Republicans and Democrats for his decision to take his family on vacation to balmy Mexico after his Houston home lost power. He initially said he accompanied his daughters, who requested the trip since school was canceled. However, he booked a return ticket Thursday only after he was spotted in Cancun and news of his vacation began to spread.

Defenders of the senator asked critics what Cruz was supposed to do since he’s neither an electrician or a plumber, and the answer to that is simple: He should have stayed with his fellow Texans and provided leadership. Cruz himself has criticized other elected officials taking inopportune time away from their office and cities or states. He had to know the backlash was coming.

The senator has since apologized for the trip.

Another flub in Texas was ERCOT’s inability to keep electric supply in line with demand as subzero temperatures blanketed the state. The council had said it was ready to meet the expected demand, but then gas lines and wind turbines froze and coal plants tripped offline. The result was Texas’s power grid was “seconds and minutes” away from a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months, ERCOT officials said.

That is absolutely unacceptable.

ERCOT officials will now have to answer to state leadership and the Texas Legislature, and it will be incumbent on the public to see that whatever plans are needed to ensure this never happens again are set in motion.

Klark Byrd

The Paris News Editorial Board publishes editorials on topics of local relevance on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

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