Arkansas Republican politicians and lobbyists I follow on social media are parroting the Fox News line that the Green New Deal caused the power calamity in Texas.

An idea that has never been implemented caused power outages? Reliance on solar and wind energy caused the power outages when these renewables constitute a tiny percentage of generating capacity in Texas?

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It’s baloney.

The web is full of explainers on what actually happened.

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One good source is the Texas Tribune, a respected nonprofit news gatherer in Texas.

Failures across Texas’ natural gas operations and supply chains due to extreme temperatures are the most significant cause of the power crisis that has left millions of Texans without heat and electricity during the winter storm sweeping the U.S.

From frozen natural gas wells to frozen wind turbines, all sources of power generation have faced difficulties during the winter storm. But Texans largely rely on natural gas for power and heat generation, especially during peak usage, experts said.

Officials for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which manages most of Texas’ grid, said the primary cause of the outages Tuesday appeared to be the state’s natural gas providers. Many are not designed to withstand such low temperatures on equipment or during production.

By some estimates, nearly half of the state’s natural gas production has screeched to a halt due to the extremely low temperatures, while freezing components at natural gas-fired power plants have forced some operators to shut down.

You CAN design facilities to withstand cold, including wind turbines. But it costs money that utilities are reluctant to spend.
Another complication is that electricity generating facilities go offline in the winter, when demand is lower. Extreme weather events may become the norm as global climate changes. Some rethinking may be in order. Oh, and maybe Texas wasn’t so smart to go it alone on the electricity grid, rather than joining in multistate combines.
Here’s Chicago Tribune fact-checking debunking those blaming solar and wind energy.
And here’s one for the highway lobbyist who suggested solar panels aren’t much use in the winter. Actually, they work BETTER in cold weather.

 

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