Thomas Gallatin / Feb. 19, 2021

What Happened in Texas?

While wind energy failures led the way in power failures, natural gas and coal also came up short.

Earlier this week, we noted that renewable energy sources, specifically wind, bore a signifiant role in the power outages Texans have endured throughout this once-in-a-century deep freeze. That fact remains true, though as more after-action details become known, it’s also important to note that both coal and nuclear power suffered energy-output downturns due to the subfreezing conditions. Neither failed as significantly as wind energy, which endured a 40% power-output decrease that initiated a cascading effect across the state’s power grid.

As PJ Media’s Bryan Preston, who lives in Texas, explained, “Piecing known information together, the wind turbines in Western Texas froze up starting Friday before the icy snowstorm hit, on Sunday night to Monday morning. This destabilized the Texas grid ahead of the worst of the storm. The storm produced the temperatures and precipitation the forecasts expected, but with weakened power generation and demand skyrocketing to heat millions of homes, homes which for the most part are not insulated against the current level of cold temperatures, the grid was set up to suffer mightily as it’s not hardened against extreme cold such as this once-in-a-century storm series is delivering.”

Leftist politicians like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have rushed to defend her indefensible “Green New Deal” by erroneously asserting, “The infrastructure failures in Texas are quite literally what happens when you don’t pursue a Green New Deal.” Quite literally, that’s false.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also sought to deflect blame from the failure of renewables by heaping the lion’s share of the blame on coal and natural gas. She cited the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (whose head board members don’t even live in the state) and claimed “that failures in wind and solar were the least signifiant factors in the blackout.” Well, the actual data proves otherwise.

The biggest factor here is that a record-breaking deep freeze has hit a state that rarely sees such severe cold for such a sustained amount of time. The primary factor going forward was said well by Governor Greg Abbott: “As a human being, we want to alleviate the struggles that [citizens] are going through — most immediately. But from a longer-term perspective as Governor of Texas, I want to ensure this never happens again.” And for that to happen, the truth and not political ideology must direct those fixes.

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