Texans Are Not Ready to Accept Freezing Blackouts as Their “New Normal”

Hey, some of you probably thought I was dead. Well, sorry, Democrats, no such luck. Didn’t have another heart event, didn’t contract the ‘rona, the website isn’t down again. So yay on all of that.

What did happen, though, is we have no power at our home. Haven’t had any since 6:00 a.m. Monday, and it now looks like we won’t have any again until Friday at the earliest. In case you hadn’t heard, the entire state of Texas looks an awful lot like Alaska right now. Ok, well, West Texas looks more like South Dakota, but you get the picture. We’re covered up in snow and ice, the low temperature where I live near Fort Worth was -1 Fahrenheit this morning, we haven’t seen a temperature at my house above freezing since last Wednesday, and won’t see one until Friday. Again, that’s if we’re lucky.

Guess what? Texas does not do a good job of preparing for this kind of weather event. Which makes sense given that we don’t see this kind of stuff but about once a decade. However, we do see it. The last time we had a similar event was exactly a decade ago, in fact, on February 2-3, 2011.

So, while it is understandable, I suppose, that the folks at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) admit that they simply do not have contingency plans for this kind of severe winter event, I can’t help wondering why not? After all, the rolling blackouts they implemented 10 years ago during that ice event caused a public uproar that resulted in a series of hearings and rulemakings that were supposed to help ensure the grid’s resiliency was fortified to withstand exactly this sort of weather.

Yet, here we are again, and no one at ERCOT or the state’s main infrastructure provider – ONCOR – appears capable of providing a coherent answer why. Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if we shouldn’t just force ERCOT to take the “R” – for Reliability – out of its name to make it more properly descriptive of what it is the agency actually does. Or rename it “ERSCOT”, with the S standing for “semi-“.

Texans have in recent years made a sport out of making fun of California for its having faded into near-3rd world status where its power grid is concerned. Trust me, that’s a ton of fun. Rolling blackouts and brownouts have become a way of life for Californians as the Democrat policymakers there force their grid to rely far too much on intermittent energy sources like wind and solar at the expense of reliable baseload generation, which must be provided by fossil fuels like natural gas and coal, or by nuclear plants.

Unfortunately, and with little public fanfare, the Republican-led Texas government has also allowed wind power to take a steadily-growing role in the state’s power generation mix over the past decade. Last year, in fact, wind surpassed coal in terms of the percentage of electricity provided to the ERCOT-managed grid, delivering 23% of the total mix, coming in second only to natural gas power plants.

That’s all great so long as you’re willing to pay the price, much of which becomes hidden from ratepayers by ERCOT and the state’s electricity providers, so everybody can pretend to be happy about “going green.” It’s also not so great when well over half the turbines in the state freeze up in near-zero temperatures and 3-12 inches of snowfall.

In the wake of the 2011 event, which was caused mainly by coal-fired plants tripping offline as they froze up and ERCOT’s rolling blackouts including several very large natural gas compressor stations, which caused several natural gas power plants to also go offline, reforms were mandated to prevent ERCOT from denying electricity to those compressor stations. We do not yet know if those reforms worked or not, but several of the state’s natural gas pipeline companies have been experiencing deliverability issues over the last couple of days, so ERCOT’s silence on the matter does make you wonder.

Texas policymakers simply must act in the wake of this event to ensure that the state’s power grid is resilient enough to withstand this kind of severe winter weather event. It is an incredibly dangerous situation when more than 3 million Texans are without power as temperatures remain below freezing for a full week. Texas might look like Alaska and South Dakota right now, but Texans are simply not prepared to deal with this kind of weather for even a couple of days, much less for a week or more.

Californians have been conditioned by their Democrat policymakers to accept this sort of rolling blackout situation as their “new normal” so they can all virtue signal about how “green” they all are. Texans, on the other hand, would rather be warm and safe in their homes than waste time virtue signaling about the environment. Again, trust me on this: Ain’t nobody in Texas ready to happily accept this crap as a “new normal” in their lives.

The state’s policymakers had better take advantage of this disastrous situation to act to really improve the resiliency of the state’s power grid, or there will be hell to pay in next year’s elections.

This situation is simply not acceptable, even if it only happens once a decade. Enough is enough.

I’ll post more when I can.

That is all.

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than Whatfinger.com is the only real conservative alternative to Drudge, and deserves to become everyone’s go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

 

 

 

 

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Londen

The ruskies have been saying for decades that a mini ice age is on the way. Texas will need to make the adjustment. Back to the basics, coal and natural gas power. Haul off all the green garbage to the dump.

Gary

Texas is a redneck showcase.

The Saint

You’ll see a push for more natural gas fired power plants in Texas and less of the garbage wind farms that freeze up.

Johnson Whitehead

There are no conservatives left in Texas, especially that waffling, double speaking Governor Greg Abbot. Saw him in an interview with Tucker Carlson and he looked like a slimy DemoRat.

Richard

Go nuclear. Just stay away from the GE reactors where it takes 24 hours to cool. Go with the models in the Dakotas where you flip a light switch and they immediately start cooling down.

Fukishima had GE reactors.

Glenn

Haha, so in 2011 and 2021 its the libs fault in Texas? It’s funny how there has been a huge majority of Republicans in the house and senate in that decade.

I read that the gas plants turned off power to y’all to avoid paying extra and once they got an executive order saying they could pass costs on to consumers they turned some of it back on. Too late though as getting things back online takes time…

Looking forward to the next 1inch rainstorm that shuts down the greatest state.

Rick

That -1 degree in Fort Worth this morning really got my wife’s attention. We had a planned two weeks in Destin and yesterday morning it was 28 degrees. In 45 years of coming here we have never seen it that cold. We will continue to pray for you and your family, as well as, the good people of Texas and else where that are suffering under the polar vortex.

Thor

Then perhaps TX should back away from “green” power and upgrade their infrastructure instead of spending that $$ for social handout programs.

Sam Houston

Interesting that some moderator (computer or human) took down my comment about being forceful and holding people accountable)……let’s see what happens with this one…..short and sweet….hold those leftists in Austin accountable Texas!

Sam Houston

What is really amiss here is the constant drumbeat of my fellow Americans failing to hold these Communist leaders accountable. Whether at the county commission level, the state utility level or the Federal level….we are ALL guilty of NOT holding these people accountable. No one should hold office without fear……FEAR of the damn public taxpayer holding them accountable. How you may ask? Yes…..by the only means these people will act. “Nahhh, let’s not be forceful…after all, we want to be more like those nice people in Austin right..?….yeah, a few suicides and deaths are totally acceptable….”. You feared the firm hand of your parents when you were a child not the false promises of your little brother Billy. It is time to see a firm hand…..before 1984 is truly upon us…..then it will be too late. Don’t be a wimp Texas….(like those people in Austin).

CharleyC

And America gets another taste of its soon to be socialist/green future; a travesty coming to your home soon. Feel free to thank a democrat today.

Glenn

Or Texas could just build some quality windmills and put a plan in place for these situations. Alaska has huge wind farms but obviously they were made to handle possible conditions.

Should I thank the last 10 years of Republican controlled Texas house and senate? Nah its the libs who moved into Austin 2 years ago.

No one

Winter weather is why fireplaces and a cord of wood are so important to have in every house, its there for times like Texas freeze. Not a gas fireplace, a real wood burning fireplace so when you run out of wood theres the furniture you hate that can be broken down and burned. Cow pies might work as well.

Roughmatch

Many TX homes do not have fireplaces. The Pasadena, TX home I grew up in didn’t have one. But, yes … I agree in principle. Also, I insist on a gas cooktop!

Brandon J Stover

Video going around now when Trump was in CA at a table discussion about the wildfires that everybody on the liberal west coast were saying global warming (cigarettes and pyros) caused. The lefty saying this needs to be handled and 45 saying it was gonna get colder (like it is now). And the environmentalist saying science disagreed. Good times. I miss common sense.

scott

It’s not just the windmills and the solar that have issues with winter storms. I worked on a cogeneration unit in Texas for twenty years and cold winters were tough. It never seemed like we could insulate our instruments or chemicals well enough to prevent them from freezing up and shutting us down. It’s no fun sitting 90 foot up in below 30 degree weather with the wind blowing what felt like 100 mile an hour wind holding a heat gun while trying to thaw out a level or pressure transmitter to keep the unit running.

Mesmer

Been there. You ain’t kidding. Just curious, are those pipes insulated? There are ways to insulate those instruments against the cold too that wouldn’t be intrusive to everyday use. Those units can’t be that different than one here in northern Canada..

BuckT

I’m thinking maybe Joe’s shutdown of the Keystone Pipeline might not be the best thing for his illegitimated administration optics wise about right now..

Roberto

Green energy is unreliable the planet provides fossil fuels and Texas has an abundant supply.

Almostnuts

Well, I’m in the middle of the snow and ice storm right now. Everyday the local utility coop says “ we’re working on it” in my area. Well, no they aren’t and haven’t been. I check these things myself, the BS is over with for me. So one can expect a whole lot of meetings, committees, talking, posturing, finger pointing, accusations, but the bottom line will always be the supervisor on patrol in his shiny new truck won’t see an overhanging tree, a falling hazard, poles too far apart in spacing, but always has “ all caught up” on his report. It’s his paycheck you see. Well boys and girls, a new office should be created to have 50 people watch the weather channel and hold meetings what the weather is going to do. Lots of donuts, all college degreed, stupendous salaries, new company vehicles and prestige to boot. Throw enough money and windshield time at it, don’t see anything, write glossy glowing reports and call it good. Actually all that was needed was a dozen men with chainsaws working spring, summer and fall with little or no supervision.

Artemis

Exactly, I live near Granbury (SW of Fort Worth), this is totally unacceptable for Texas to be in this situation. I heard an update on local news WBAP 820 was a Texas State Representative that “promised hearings and why this has happened”! I can sum it up – windmills don’t work when frozen, wind doesn’t blow, solar panels don’t work covered in snow/several days of clouds.
What does work: Freaking 114 BILLION (YES that is correct from Energy Information Administration.GOV) cubic feet of natural gas, I can tell those useless politicians in Austin, BUILD 20 more natural gas plants and about 10 (thorium salt nuclear reactors – newest version of nuclear power) and we can sell the surplus to those idiots in California.
I get it is a 10 year gap between freezes but apparently no reforms were undertaken – no surprise there. The state government level has now approached the “UNI-Party” level we have in Washington D.C. (The Capital of Panem) both Republican and Democrat are useless to the people.
We need to support Libertarian candidates/party and Trumps populism in the GOP. I prefer the Libertarian leaning but willing to reform the GOP but with more Libertarian platform.
Stay warm and God Bless – a cold patriot.

Roughmatch

A problem not considered here is that the mid-stream gas collection plants like we have up here in the TX Panhandle don’t work very well in the deep freeze we have been in since last week. Big compressors freeze up when it is 8 deg below zero. Gas from the wellhead often has water in it and that freezes in the pipelines, making it a slurry. Not a simple solution when it’s terribly cold. Be prepared, year round, as best you can.

Ariel MUESENBERG

Two years ago Empire District Electric Company in Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas was bought by leftist Canadian company Liberty utilities. They bribed the Public Service Commissions and .materially lied to consumers, employees, and Empire owners to get it done. They closed down our efficient and clean coal fired plants and built these ridiculous and non-working wind turbines to produce ‘green power. Its a JOKE? Our rates have skyrocketed. The new ‘smart meters’ have DOUBLED our bills, and now rolling blackouts are controlling and endangering our lives! Welcome to third world nation poverty!

Gregg

Get ready for more new normal situations like this for the foreseeable future.

In some ways, it is our fault in that we didn’t fight for our rights after Clinton lost the Congress in 1994. He should have been a one term president and we should have demanded a real opponent who would have won in 1996.

Too many of us were fat dumb and happy, sat on our collective asses and did nothing of note. Those who did try were mocked and dismissed as kooks.

So now we are where we are and it may well be too late to fix via normal means.

Dave, I’m sure joe btfsplk will be rushing right down to Texas and fast track FEMA aid soon.

His handlers will only do that if they think it will help them flip the state blue.

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