Unintended Consequences and the Texas ‘Big Freeze’ Energy Disaster
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Last week Texas experienced a cold snap that resulted in serious statewide damage, death, and destruction. The collapse of the stateâs energy grid left millions of Texans in the dark and freezing for days at a time. Tragically, at least 30 people died.
There are many reasons why Texas became like a Third World country, and we should be careful not to pin all the blame on just one factor. But it seems clear that the disaster was to a large degree caused by political decisions to shift toward âgreenâ energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbottâs authoritarian Covid restrictions.
Abbott, who won a âwind leadershipâ award just this month, oversaw the near-collapse of wind energy generation last week. Yet the politicization of energy generation in favor of âgreenâ alternatives over natural gas and other fossil fuels has led to the unintended consequences of freezing Texans facing multiple millions of dollars in property damage and worse.
Additionally, federal emissions and other restrictions forced Texas to beg Washington for permission to generate power at higher levels in anticipation of unprecedented demand. Governor Abbott finally received permission from the Department of Energy on February 14th, but by then many facilities found themselves off-line due to freezing conditions.
Why should the Federal government be allowed to freeze Texans to death in the name of controlling emissions from energy generation plants? Itâs a classic example of politics over people. I guess if you want to make a âGreen New Dealâ omelet, you have to break a few eggs.
While Governor Abbott was quick to blame energy generators and even the state Electric Reliability Council of Texas, NBC News in Dallas reported that ERCOT âdid not conduct any on-site inspections of the state’s power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season.