Texas's 'Nightmare' Energy Situation Is a Warning to the Rest of America

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Posted: Feb 16, 2021 7:00 AM
Texas's 'Nightmare' Energy Situation Is a Warning to the Rest of America

Source: AP Photo/Matt Young, File

Millions of Texans have lost power in the middle of a cold snap that brought below-freezing temperatures across the state. Struggling to keep warm in homes that are poorly insulated, some are turning to unsafe methods that will likely get them killed. One resident told The Washington Post that after only eight hours without power in Houston it was like an “apocalypse,” and she feared they’d “see a nightmare situation in the next few days.”

Commenting on the blackout in his home state, former Energy Secretary Rick Perry pointed out how important it is to have a diverse energy landscape. In recent years, however, reliance on coal has declined while renewable energy sources have been increasing. 

How’s that working out? We’re seeing it play out now, Fox News's Tucker Carlson said Monday during his monologue. 

“The windmills froze, so the power grid failed. Millions of Texans woke up Monday morning having to boil their water because with no electricity, it couldn't be purified,” he commented, noting the Green New Deal has arrived. 

“The ironically named Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the grid, had no solution to any of this. They simply told people to stop using so much power to keep warm," Carlson continued. "So in Houston, hundreds of shivering Texans headed to the convention center like refugees to keep from freezing to death. Some Texans almost certainly did freeze to death. Later this week, we'll likely learn just how many more were killed as they tried to keep warm with jury-rigged heaters and barbecues and car exhaust.”

In a news release, ERCOT said the extreme weather led to "many generating units - across fuel types - to trip offline." 

"Natural-gas-fired power plants generated 40% of Texas’s electricity in 2020, according to Ercot," WSJ reports, while "wind turbines were second at 23%, followed by coal at 18% and nuclear at 11%."

Experts have made clear, however, that wind is not the sole culprit in the energy crisis. “Natural gas electricity has failed the most in terms of electricity capacity, but coal, nuclear, and wind energy have all had issues as well,” Breakthrough Institute’s Erik Olson, a climate and energy analyst, told Lead Stories. “Because Texas's electricity grid is powered by a plurality of natural gas, it naturally follows that natural gas related failures have had the largest impact. That being said, it isn't the 'fault' of natural gas or any single factor.”

While blackouts have become commonplace in states like California, it’s surprising in Texas, the host said. 

If there's one thing you would think Texas would be able to do, it's keep the lights on. Most electricity comes from natural gas and Texas produces more of that than any place on the continent. There are huge natural gas deposits all over the state. Running out of energy in Texas is like starving to death at the grocery store: You can only do it on purpose, and Texas did.

Rather than celebrate and benefit from their state's vast natural resources, politicians took the fashionable route and became recklessly reliant on so-called alternative energy, meaning windmills. Fifteen years ago, there were virtually no wind farms in Texas. Last year, roughly a quarter of all electricity generated in the state came from wind. Local politicians were pleased by this. They bragged about it like there was something virtuous about destroying the landscape and degrading the power grid. Just last week, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott proudly accepted something called the Wind Leadership Award, given with gratitude by Tri Global Energy, a company getting rich from green energy.

So it was all working great until the day it got cold outside. The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people in Texas died. (Fox News)

And this is one of the renewable energy sources the Biden administration and his climate allies are so eagerly pushing on the rest of America, despite the fact that they’re less reliable, inefficient, more expensive, and kill a ton of birds. 

What the rest of us think matters not, however, because “green energy is the ultimate inside game” for the small number of individuals who profit, Carlson said. 

Editor's note: This post has been updated.