(RightIsRight.co) – As frozen temperatures continue to wreak havoc on the Texas power grid, millions of Americans are left without heat in their homes due to rolling blackouts. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has had enough of the questionable handling of this crisis and is launching an investigation into the issues at hand.
Paxton Probes the Electric Reliability Council of Texas
On Wednesday, February 17, Paxton announced his official probe into the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). He encouraged Texans that he will use “the full scope” of his Constitutional powers to hold them accountable for any mishandling that occurred during the disaster.
Paxton said both ERCOT’s preparation and reaction to the situation were “unacceptable” and shared the facts he has so far on Twitter:
ERCOT & other energy cos have slipped & fallen on their faces & it’s not the ice’s fault. They have left 3+ million homes w/o power for days, including my own.
What do they do in response? Jack up prices, go silent, make excuses, & play the blame game. It’s unacceptable! https://t.co/e3KvWz49eq
— Attorney General Ken Paxton (@KenPaxtonTX) February 18, 2021
The Failure of the Texas Power Grid
The freezing temperatures caused wind turbines to freeze solid and natural gas supply lines to become inoperable, making 46,000 megawatts of power remain offline mid-week. As of Wednesday, February 17, 1.9 million Texans were still without electricity.
Daniel Cohan, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Houston’s Rice University shared why the power grid failed:
Every one of our sources of power supply underperformed. Every one of them is vulnerable to extreme weather and climate events in different ways. None of them were adequately weatherized or prepared for a full realm of weather and conditions.
— Daniel Cohan (@cohan_ds) February 17, 2021
Cohan makes it clear, though, that it’s not simply an electricity crisis Texas is facing but a full energy system crisis. Hopefully, Paxton’s probe into ERCOT will address the mishandling of the situation, but it must go further than that. It must speak to how Texas as a whole can prepare for the once-in-a-decade storms and temperatures that do occasionally come.
Moving Forward to Winterize Texas
Most energy supplies can be properly winterized, as many are in the northern regions of the country. Winterizing Texas energy supplies was discussed after the 2011 freeze, but the suggested guidelines were made optional for power plants.
Understandably, most companies have chosen to forgo the expansive upgrades, leading to the events of this week. To address this, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) called for mandated winterization of power plants in a statement on Thursday.
Through a proper investigation and citizens raising their voices to demand reforms and a safer power grid, change will happen. So, even as springtime appears on the horizon, Texas must demand the necessary changes in order to protect their families and the future of reliable power in the state.
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