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    Rep. Troy Nehls asks Elon Musk to help the U.S. power grid

    June 29, 2022 - Jay R. Jordan, Houston Chronicle


      Jun. 29—U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls, who represents Fort Bend County, is asking Tesla CEO Elon Musk for ideas on shoring up power grids across the country—including here in Texas.

      Nehls sent a two-page open letter to Musk on Monday detailing the anticipated rise in electric vehicle purchases and his worry about the potential strain on the nation's three power grids. Nehls has previously railed against the expansion of public electric vehicle charging stations and believes those, along with the Texas Department of Transportation's plan to place charging stations every 50 miles along Texas freeways, could lead to power problems across the country.

      "I write to express my deep concerns regarding the potential inefficiencies of our nation's power grids as electric vehicles continue to become more popular," Nehls wrote in the letter. "While the Biden administration refuses to acknowledge the expertise you bring as the Chief Executive Officer of the largest electric vehicle company in the world, I believe you bring a unique perspective to help strengthen and increase the resiliency of the nation's power grids."

      Nehls, a freshman conservative in Congress, sits on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. He previously described himself as being "about the oil and gas industry" and, in his letter to Musk, mentioned the availability of untapped oil and natural gas in the U.S. and slammed renewable forms of electricity generations, like wind and solar, though there are studies demonstrating that switching to renewable power sources would help prevent massive blackouts.

      It's not clear what exactly Nehls wants from Musk, but the representative certainly would like the billionaire at the table.

      "The continued success of the people of Texas and Tesla Inc. and its stakeholders is largely dependent on a reliable electricity grid," Nehls said in the letter. "As we continue to work towards solutions to guarantee our power grids can meet the nation's increased electric demands, I believe—with your help—we can cultivate an effective relationship between private business and government to ensure the long-term stability of our electric grid."

      It appears Musk may already be working to bolster the Texas power grid, on top of critically tweeting about it. Around the same time the Texas grid—operated by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas—failed in February 2021, a subsidiary of Musk's Tesla began constructing a giant battery south of Houston that will eventually plug into the grid and store enough electricity to power about 20,000 homes for a day, according to Bloomberg's Dana Hull and Naureen Malik.


      (c)2022 the Houston Chronicle

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      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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