No. Green Energy Didn't Cause the Blackouts in Texas.
On Valentine’s Day, Texans started feeling the cool, crisp air that happens right before all hell breaks loose in the state that I now call home. And not just in the panhandle where snow happens. This time it went all the way to the southern tip where temperatures almost never get below 50 degrees, and snow is a once a decade phenomenon at best.
So, we were in for snow in San Antonio. This means a few things. The massive system of interstates that winds through and around the expansive city closes immediately, every grocery store in reach is threadbare within about two hours of the announcement, and grown adults are gonna get their first crack at a snowball fight. This is all to be expected.
But then the lights went out. The announcement of rolling blackouts came from CPS. The only company that provides power to the seventh-largest city in America.
The party line was that these horrendous little blackouts were coming as a means of saving energy. We San Antonians were being called upon to make small sacrifices for the communal good of our fair city! These blackouts in record low temperatures started as four hours of darkness punctuated by five minutes of power. Then quickly worked their way down to three minutes. Then one minute. Then no electricity at all. Old houses that were built to stay cool were left to fight single-digit temperatures unassisted by electric heat.
Texas Governor Greg Abbot and the rest of the state’s GOP quickly joined together in an undisrupted chorus of “The Green New Deal did this!” followed promptly by “The damned windmills froze!” and, for the encore “Solar panels don’t work when there ain’t no sun!”
This is, of course, complete bullshit.
To start, only 5% of Texas energy comes from renewable sources according to The US Energy Information Administration. In all fairness, these renewable sources do produce about 25% of Texas’ energy. But, still. That hardly strikes me as enough to completely and unabashedly mess with Texas the way that it did.
When it comes to windmills and solar panels not working in the snow, this is idiotic on it’s face. Solar panels are built at an angle and designed to shed precipitation, and the windmills froze because the state failed to winterize them. Not because AOC and Soros conspired to direct weather machines at the god-fearing population of The Lone Star state, or whatever.
What did happen was a complete and utter breakdown of the established and historic electric production of the state.
It turns out that the fiercely independent spirit of Texas is nothing new. In the 1930s the state chose to keep its energy grid independent in order to buck federal regulations. This also means that even if other states wanted to help, they literally couldn’t have. This is a uniquely Texan feature.
ERCOT (Electric Reliability Council of Texas) is the sole source of electricity in the state and distributes power accordingly. Well, accordingly until there’s a freeze, anyway.
Part of continuing the goal of independence from federal oversight is making sure that you keep certain palms as greasy as the day-old bacon at a strip club buffet. By donating to politicians, ERCOT is able to turn regulations into suggestions. So, when either the state or federal government “suggests” that ERCOT spends tens of millions of dollars winterizing the fragile power grid, the company has bought the freedom to laugh their ever-loving asses off. There are no fines. There are no consequences. Texas only freezes about once every ten years, and civil suits from the families of people who literally froze to death in their own homes is a hell of a lot cheaper than that. So it really is a no-brainer from a capitalistic point of view.
Texas is also a huge producer of fossil fuels. This makes the opportunity to pretend that The Green New Deal has passed, and forward-thinking competitors are the problem very enticing. Oh, if only we all could’ve huddled around the gaslighting from the GOP to stay nice and warm. There would’ve been s’mores and chili for all!
If renewable energy’s 25% production failed because libtards brought the snowflakes to Texas, then you still have that 75% of the grid that needs to answer for its role in what happened down here.
What happened was a catastrophic failure of Texas’ energy independence, and it cost lives. We were failed in such a horrendous way that it brought unity in our outrage as an unintended consequence from such a politically polarized state.
The only clear answer seems to be the full dissemination of ERCOT, and Texas participating in state-to-state collectivism in energy production. This will create a safety net for the next time that something like this inevitably happens. Oh. And maybe we should wrap a bit of foam around the pipes to bring us enough heat to at least make a breakfast taco while we shiver our joints stiff in our 30-degree homes.