“It’s authorized monopoly abuse. There’s no other way to get around it,” said Beth Garza, who served for five years as a watchdog for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or Ercot, as the state’s grid operator is known. “If there’s only one provider of a key service and there’s no limit on what that provider can charge for their product, that provider is going to profit-maximize by as much as they can get away with,” said Garza, now a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, a free-market think tank in Washington.