On June 14, 2021, comedian Blaire Erskine posted a video of herself playing the part of a spokesperson for Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the organization that operates Texas’ power grid. Erskine’s performance is a bit too good, because some who saw it seemed to think she was a real ERCOT employee.
“How about connecting Texas to the national power grid so we can get away from idiots like this from ERCOT,” one person tweeted.
AC or AOC is trending because Texas republicans, Greg Abbott and ERCOT are so fucking inept that people think this is real 🙃 https://t.co/d7AdMqfkfM
— Chuck Todd's shamble bangs (@Drea_got_rage) June 15, 2021
Needless to say, the phrase “AC or AOC,” which Erskine came up with, started trending when the video was widely shared, and is a reference to the fact that ERCOT has urged Texas to conserve power during hot weather to avoid blackouts.
It’s also a reference to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, a progressive legislator often vilified by Republicans and right-leaning media outlets.
In February 2021, ERCOT came under scrutiny as the only independently run power grid in the country when millions of Texans lost power due to grid failure during record cold weather.
“Texas is set up on a power grid,” Erskine said in the video. “What a power grid is, is, well it’s something different to everybody, and that’s what you gotta understand. I mean, would you rather have AC or would you rather have AOC.”