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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 state’s 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 “green” energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid restrictions.

Abbott, who won a “wind leadership” award just this month, oversaw the near-collapse of wind energy generation last week. Yet the politicization of energy generation in favor of “green” 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? It’s a classic example of politics over people. I guess if you want to make a “Green New Deal” 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 “did not conduct any on-site inspections of the state’s power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season. Due to COVID-19 they conducted virtual tabletop exercises instead – but only with 16 percent of the state’s power generating facilities.”

Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid executive orders at least indirectly led to lax inspection, maintenance, and winterization of wind and other energy generation plants.

But Texas did not only freeze because of Abbott’s Covid restrictions. For the better part of a year thousands of businesses have been destroyed. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics have relapsed. Depression and suicides have skyrocketed. Children have been deprived of education.

And for what? Texas with Abbott’s restrictions fared no better than Florida with no restrictions when it comes to Covid cases and deaths. The Texas governor knew that months ago when the data from Florida proved that lockdowns, masks, and other restrictions had no effect. But he refused to change course. He refused to follow the brave lead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and open Texas completely.

Politicians too stubborn or fearful to change course when facts dictate otherwise do not deserve to remain in office. Governors Gavin Newsom in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York are finally facing consequences for their Covid authoritarianism. When the smoke clears – and it is rapidly clearing – many more of these petty tyrants will fall. That list of deposed Covid tyrants may well include Texas Governor Greg Abbott – and the slumbering Texas state legislature – as well.

Let’s hope Texans – and all Americans – will learn from this and more forcefully demand their God-given liberty!

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Deregulation, Environment, Global Warming, Texas 
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  1. Spanky says:

    Mr. Paul,

    There has been much talk lately of states seceding for the Union. Perhaps the simplest solution to our problems isn’t necessarily formally seceding, but simply ignoring the diktats issuing from D.C.

    What will Washington do? Indeed, if state officials refuse to enforce federal law, rules and regulations within their borders, what can they do? Invade?

    Kudos to Gov. DeSantis for his leadership.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @WorkingClass
    , @Hansen
  2. ruralguy says:

    Texas is becoming a 3rd world nation, but this power failure occurred because of many factors.

    One key factor is the polar vortex that created it. Normally, it stays well structured in a confined spiral near the north pole, but occasionally it weakens, causing it to spread out. This exceptional spread this year was either an aberration, or caused by global warming.

    Another factor was the switch from coal to natural gas. The cold spell caused Texans to run their furnaces more often, creating a huge demand for natural gas, that competed with the utilities’ increasing demand. When demand exceeds supply, the utility has no choice but decrease its generation. Coal by contrast has no competing demands. Homeowners don’t heat with coal. But, coal is not clean burning. It generates 47% more green-house gases than natural gas.

    Finally, a third factor is the icing of the wind turbines and natural gas equipment. Unlike northern states that stay below freezing for much of the winter, the states further south have repeated rains, freezes, thaw cycles. The iced equipment was a big factor in the failures.

    I agree that Texas is becoming a third world state. That likely played a factor, but there are many other factors.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
    , @SteveK9
    , @botazefa
  3. Good point about inspectors not doing their jobs in person and using Covid as an excuse not to, just using ZOOM meetings, which makes me wonder: does Abbott (and Costello) have a huge stake in ZOOM? But Abbott will pay the price for sure, either on Earth or at the White Throne Judgement (since he claims to be Christian–a Zionist one of course) for not doing what he should have and oversaw the deaths and destructions of many. Biden of course is also responsible. And would ‘secession’ change anything? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss, IMHO.

    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
  4. “The blame game has some pointing to frozen wind turbines as the cause of the blackouts. But the real problem in Texas is that generators have no financial incentive to invest in their own assets and keep them ready for winter, because the less stable they are, the more money they charge for their power.”

    Here’s what really happened in Texas energy:
    “ERCOT created a system whereby generators, companies that own power plants, compete by bidding to provide electricity for the “day ahead” and in real time during the day. It is called an “electricity only” market. Think of it this way: If the players on the Washington Nationals were paid in the same fashion, only those players on the field for the game that day would earn a paycheck. Everyone else on the roster would be unpaid. Players would offer bids to play for the next day, each undercutting the other.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/18/texans-grid-outage-deregulation/

    Privatization and deregulation caused this problem. If you actually know about energy in Texas, you would know this fact.

    Now you’re going to cancel me again.

    • Replies: @SteveK9
    , @El Dato
    , @botazefa
  5. @ruralguy

    Plausible-sounding mis-direction.

    You know full well that the cause of the blackouts was the ERCOT privatized, and rather screwy-sounding “day ahead” system of electricity generation.

  6. Cowboy says:

    I wonder if the consequences really are unintended. The government sets up the utilities for failure so that when trauma effects the system the people will demand more tyranny to “fix” the problem. An infinite regress of authoritarianism. Get the people to beg for more of what’s killing them.

  7. jsinton says:

    The consequences of the Texas disaster is that now even the Texans will be fleeing to Florida.

  8. I know he’s a Texan, but I was a little surprised to read a Ron Paul column on something as much technical as political. I learned a lot, as I hadn’t kept up much with this story. The bit about having to ask permission to increase “emissions”* just floored me. Maybe the officials (or Gov. Abbott) should have asked forgiveness rather than permission.

    I have the closest thing to a man-crush I’ve ever had in my life for Governor DeSantis (I kid) of Florida for many reasons related to his actions on the Kung Flu PanicFest, but what made my week was the story (not confirmed completely) about his telling President Zhou Bai Dien to fuck himself and then hanging up on the old fool. The story comes from here, and Peak Stupidity has commentary here.

    “Governor, do you want to be responsible for reinfecting the nation? Truth is, we don’t even know how effective current vaccines are against the UK strain.”

    DeSantis told Dr. Fauci he trusted his own state health authorities over financially incentivized federal officials.

    “How much do you stand to earn from these vaccines, Dr. Fauci? And, Joe, if you continue with this course of action, I will authorize the state National Guard to protect the movement of Floridians,” DeSantis said.

    “Address me as Mr. President or President Biden,” Biden said.

    “I will not, and you can go fuck yourself,”DeSantis said before hanging up..

    Now there’s some Federalism for ya’!

    .

    * If we’re talking particulates or NOx’ or sulphur here, I’ve got no problem with this word, but when used wrt to CO2, it’s bogus, as CO2 is in no way a pollutant, no matter what you think the Earth’s climate is doing and why.

    • Thanks: Jim Christian
    • LOL: Spanky
    • Replies: @mike99588
  9. onebornfree says: • Website

    There’s only ONE primary cause for the Texas 2021 winter storm clusterfuck , its called GOVERNMENT.

    In other words, government [state and federal] control of power utilities is the primary cause of the chaos in TX, nothing more, nothing less.

    This just in:

    “Everything government touches turns to crap” Ringo Starr

    “Government is a disease masquerading as its own cure” Robert LeFevere

    “Government doesn’t work” Harry Browne https://wiki.mises.org/wiki/Why_Government_Doesn%27t_Work

    And , as always all of the masked morons [“left” or “right”] scream: “no no no, we need _more_ government to solve the power distribution problems in TX” , or something like that .

    To which I say: “The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic”, to quote H.L.Mencken

    Regards, onebornfree

    • Agree: Emslander
    • Replies: @anon
    , @Emslander
  10. @Spanky

    Weed is illegal in the USA. But it’s legal in Colorado. It’s called nullification. There are many ways to achieve seperation. Secession is just one of them. And seperate we must. Nothing good can come from the District of Corruption. Thanks Spanky.

    • Thanks: Spanky
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  11. SteveK9 says:
    @ruralguy

    OK, if you can even blame a record cold snap on ‘global warming’ what is there to be done? I’m well aware that climate is not weather. There is a good likelihood that we are in for a period of significant cooling. The ‘global warming’ catastrophe is going to be a much harder sell in the years to come. Of course Covid was turned into a global catastrophe, so anything is possible.

  12. Texas government, oil sector, and investors frequently engage in terrorism. I have noticed the pattern for over a decade. When oil prices would start falling, they would constantly have fires at oil refineries, to drive the price of oil back up through supply reduction. Oil prices have been going up, but, Biden has outlawed KXL, which is great, since it went through the Ogalala aquifer that is used by farms in the farming region and supplies farms with water, and all of the KXL oil was strictly for export, so only the refineries and investors, shipping, and pipeline industries would reap the rewards at everyone else’s expense. I do not believe that this was caused by the weather. I believe that they allowed it to happen and deliberately shut energy off, and intentionally restricted gas to create a panic in retribution for the shut down of KXL, used to demand more money from the government. Bill Gates coincidently just wrote a book on this, just like he coincidentally held Event 201 and had been 
    “warning” about a plandemic. Bill Gates has moved on from the irrational fears and scientific fraud of the plandemic, and has moved onto irrational fears and scientific fraud of Climate change. Bill Gates is now the largest farmland owner in America, with over 240,000 acres, and is terrorizing people with soylent green factory grown synthetic meat. The man is an evil monster and terrorist that belongs in a federal pennitentary for the rest of his life!

    They have been calling for Dark Winter, because this was planned, with SOP 303, to shut down communications, and to incite martial rule, which congress would be out of the loop on, but the 1/6 deep state staged coup did not achieve their intended goal of doing that.

    These people are terrorists and thieves. Terrorism is their business model. How much proof do you need? 9/11, the 7 false flag wars that ensued, 2003, 2009, and 2020 plandemics, BLM and Antifa terrorism, 1/6 staged rioting? Not to mention the missing $21 trillion from the Pentagon. It is time for them to move to Panama or Brazil. They are anti-American terrorists! California fires are another indicator. They claim that it is global warming. Arson is more likely in many instances.  They have a scorched earth policy. Grafton WI high school which I wrote about years ago, looks like a prison, is outdated, and they voted to spend $7 million to update the plumbing! You could build a new highschool for that! The Grafton government moved the village hall to an 11,000 square foot building years ago! There are only 11,635 people in Grafton! They could have turned that building into a high school, rather than use it for lazy overpaid employees. Menial labor for Grafton government pays $90,000 a year. The median annual household income in Grafton is only $72,432. The village president James Brunnquell works zero hours in the village, obviously! He claims to be a Republican, but is as conservative as the Liberace, another famous Wisconsonite! 

    Andrea Iravani

    • Replies: @Stephane
  13. SteveK9 says:
    @obwandiyag

    There is a very simple fact that explains why wind is a very bad option for power generation. It can go to zero, in fact it can go to zero over a very wide area. It is not good enough for an electrical system to be on ‘most of the time’. It has to be working 100% of the time.

    If you would like to get a good idea of how much wind power varies over time have a look at this site, from the Bonneville Power Administration. If you look at any typical 2 weeks, you will see wind power up and down on EVERY time scale, from 100% down to 0%..

    https://transmission.bpa.gov/Business/operations/wind/baltwg.aspx

    Even if it does not go exactly to zero, a backup is needed, which has to be coal or gas or nuclear. That means you have to have a redundant system in place. A system which is operated most efficiently when it is running at full power, all the time. So you have to maintain a huge infrastructure that you only use part of the time, which also makes it less efficient, and causes unnecessary wear.

    One can push wind and solar to higher percentages of total output, but the cost escalates rapidly. Is it any surprise that Germany and Denmark have the highest electricity costs in the World. And, they are only able to operate this highly ‘green’ system, because they buy power from other countries, when the wind stops blowing (solar is actually not even worth mentioning). Those countries, Poland, France, etc. rely on ‘reliables’ … coal, gas or nuclear. One of my favorite quotes was from a German utility executive … ‘using solar electricity in Germany makes as much sense as growing pineapples in Alaska’.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  14. Incitatus says:

    Last week climate destroyed Texas. More thoroughly than Pearl Harbor 1941.

    “Last week Texas experienced a cold snap that resulted in serious statewide damage, death, and destruction. The collapse of the state’s energy grid left millions of Texans in the dark and freezing for days at a time. Tragically, at least 30 people died.”

    Thankfully not you, eh Ron? After years of libertarian ‘self-dependence’ mind-farts.

    “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 “green” energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid restrictions.”

    Don’t be modest. The reason “Texas became like a Third World country” is because of ‘principled’ ideologues like you. Give corporations carte-blanche. Markets will ‘self-regulate’? Are you serious? Or just a tool?

  15. @SteveK9

    You dirty rotten shill.

    Not a word, not one word, not a single word in your response about ERCOT.

    Just a bunch of simple-minded c&p you don’t even understand.

    Although it’s clear you understand nothing about alternative energy, you just copied shit, it is obvious you copied shit with an agenda–to divert the conversation from ERCOT and its “management” of Texas energy.

    I said already: wind power or the lack of it is not the cause of the blackouts. In fact, wind power is running, right now, at more than expected capacity.

    It’s privatization and de-regulation that caused the blackouts. “Overseen” by ERCOT. ERCOT ERCOT ERCOT you boob.

    • Troll: El Dato
    • Replies: @anon
  16. The cause of the Texas blackouts is deregulation and privatization. Apparently none of you can comprehend that. Your minds block it out. Your minds can’t handle it. It’s too painful for you.

    Get it through your heads–deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization

    If you can’t get that simple fact, there is no hope for you.

    • Troll: Achmed E. Newman
    • Replies: @Franz
    , @Bro43rd
    , @El Dato
  17. mike99588 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    The forgiveness you’re talking about can involve felonies.

    Basically you have to have Big Bro’s positive permission to use above 10 MMBTUs per day, a mere fart for serious power generation. 10 MMBTU/day might represent ~5 KW from high efficiency coal, 6-7 KW from higher efficiency gas fired generation (MMBTU x 293 x efficiency = kwh).

  18. Cowboy says:

    The Feds delayed in giving Texas the ability to create the energy needed to save it’s citizens thus directly responsible for the Texas deaths: full stop

  19. Stephane says:
    @No Friend Of The Devil

    The pattern you noticed of fires or other accidents in low oil prices periods may have another explanation that deliberate damage to drive the prices up again.

    Low prices driving to capacity reduction and cost cutting decisions like postsponing maintenance, staff reduction, and this can trigger the increase in accidents and failures you noticed.

  20. @WorkingClass

    I’m in Ma., it’s legal. I flew out of Logan Sunday to Tampa with four or five grams and they found it in my carry on. This Broad standing next to me said get ready for the handcuffs. Told her no problem. The guy put it back and away I went. TSA are Massachusetts employees. They let you fly with up to 1 ounce. What is that but nullification? Technically, once I’m in the air I’m illegal, weed is still DEA schedule 1. With meth and fentanyl. Anyway, there’s never a set of handcuffs waiting down at Tampa, so….legal! Finally, huh, WC?

  21. Renoman says:

    People stupid enough to think that a design as totally flawed as a propeller on a stick deserve what they get, idiots.

  22. Hansen says:
    @Spanky

    Remember that Texas is a net importer of federal dollars; for every dollar in federal taxes they pay they get more back — to the tune of $27B last year in a $100B budget –that’s how the federal government enforces Texas to follow their rules.

    • Replies: @Spanky
  23. @Jim Christian

    Were they pretty hard-core on the Jet Blue Scarebus with all the mask talk, Jim? The flight attendants now have the backing of FEDERAL LAW! regarding this face diapering crap. I don’t know if that makes it any better for them, but the airlines seemed to want this, as I’ve read.

    If you take the face diaper off to smoke a joint on airport property back up in Mass, the cops will ignore your weed but can charge you with “failure to freak out enough” or some such charges. I’m no lawyer, though …

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  24. Spanky says:
    @Hansen

    Texans have to make a choice…

    Continue being bribed (and frozen, for example), or determine their own fate. It’s up to them.

  25. Franz says:
    @obwandiyag

    Get it through your heads–deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization deregulation and privatization

    But American Freemarketeers can’t get that through their heads. I was even in the Libertarian Party (1 year, 13 days) and know all their stuff but there’s no way t0 deprogram them. Regular Americans aren’t much better.

    They cannot see that what happened in Wiemar Germany a century ago is now in the USA. And the same trick played again in Russia was applauded and led by Harvard Economics wonks till Putin put a stop to it.

    Expect that $200 loaf of bread in a few years, maybe less, because Americans have no Putin anywhere near the levers of power. Much less the other guy that squashed Wiemar.

  26. Bro43rd says:
    @obwandiyag

    Under the current economic paradigm you are correct in your analysis of the problem. But to think more regulation, by the same government that deregulated & privatised the energy market, is the answer is the equivalent of suggesting the local alcoholic could be cured by going into the bar business. Illogical at best, downright idiotic to be sure. It reminds me of the old snake oil salesman character when accusations that the elixir wasn’t working he would say “why you haven’t taken enough, you just need some heavier doses”. Shortly thereafter he’s hightailing it out of town. Unfortunately the internet allows no such remedy to the public for such modern day snake oil salesmen.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  27. In a side track which is secondary to the core of the article, the author has nailed an insidious fact of life with this observation –

    But he refused to change course.

    The genetic response of politicians everywhere, is never to back down, but always to double down.

    This very much applies to the strangely universal Western policy response to Corona Chan.

    Following a crafty misinformation campaign to debunk and rubbish cheap, safe and effective cures for Corona Chan, governments across the Western world pretty much universally banned such options for the treatment of Corona Chan.

    Now, despite copious evidence to the contrary, they refuse to back down. Instead, they double down, and double down again – “vaccination” is our only hope!

    There’s no turning back, because they’ll never back down.

    Politicians too stubborn or fearful to change course when facts dictate otherwise do not deserve to remain in office.

    I agree, I really do. I’d personally be delighted to see these vermin and their complicit “health advisors” all taken out and publicly burnt at the stake (harsh, I know, but IMO the punishment should fit the crime, for so many very good reasons).

    But good luck with that.

    When the smoke clears – and it is rapidly clearing – many more of these petty tyrants will fall.

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    And believe me when I say, I really do want to see it.

  28. anon[974] • Disclaimer says:

    When it comes to Texas there is also the Department of Energy order 202-21-1 to ERCOT to charge a minimum of $15o0/mwh for the marginal electricity from generators released from environmental restrictions on their electricity production. This will have contributed to peak prices for electricity above $9000/mwh.

    Since prices for anything are set at the margin, this order meant that as soon as demand was great enough to force consumption of the environmentally released electricity prices had to go up to and above $1500/mwh.

    Essentially the Department of Energy considered human lives less important than their precious environmental restrictions. If the public continues to tolerate this they deserve what they get.

    • Thanks: Spanky
    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  29. anon[974] • Disclaimer says:
    @obwandiyag

    See Department of Energy order no. 202-21-1 and the minimum $1500/mwh for environmental restrictions released power generator’s electricity. Not just ERCOT.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  30. El Dato says:
    @obwandiyag

    “ERCOT created a system whereby generators, companies that own power plants, compete by bidding to provide electricity for the “day ahead” and in real time during the day.

    And there is nothing wrong with that. If you want long-term contracts with guaranteed delivery, you can probably get that too, but if the turbines and the pylons are down, you are fugged regardless.

    Think of it this way: If the players on the Washington Nationals were paid in the same fashion, only those players on the field for the game that day would earn a paycheck. Everyone else on the roster would be unpaid.

    I don’t see the connection at all.

    Privatization and deregulation caused this problem.

    I don’t think the spot market caused wintry conditions at all.

  31. El Dato says:
    @obwandiyag

    Maybe you could leave a note on how nationalization and “regulation” (whatever that means, it is not some magic Harry Potter incantation that fixes things) are going to help precisely?

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  32. El Dato says:

    Actually some facts:

    https://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/the-smarter-grid/what-texas-freeze-fiasco-tells-us-about-future-of-the-grid

    So, at 1:25 a.m. on 16 February, about two days after the storm spread across the state, operators began implementing rolling blackouts to assure power-system stability. But they soon ran into problems, because the curtailment area was so large. Some places, including Austin, the state’s capitol, found that in order to reduce the load by the amount mandated by the state’s electrical authority, they had to shut down all electrical feeders except the ones feeding critical loads, such as water treatment plants and hospitals. So, the “rolling” blackouts weren’t rolling at all; for nearly all residential customers in and around Austin, once the power was turned off, it stayed off.

    Now to the second question: Why did the Texas grid crumble? The weather-triggered problems led to a tidal wave of instant pundits picking over the very limited data to support their preferred theory as to the root cause of the problem. Against renewables? Then obviously the whole sorry episode could be blamed on the iced-over wind turbines. Anti-fossil fuels? In that case, the maximizing of profits by those plant operators was clearly the fundamental cause. Microgrid proponents said there would not have been a problem if Texas had more microgrids.

    And there were twists here, too, related to a couple of unusual technical and economic aspects of the Texas electrical system. Most of the United States and Canada are covered by just three synchronous electrical grids. There’s one for the eastern part of the continent, one for the western part of the continent, and a relatively tiny one that covers most of Texas. That Texas grid is operated by an organization called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). Not everyone thinks it’s a good idea for Texas to have its own grid, so for these folks, the lack of synchronous connections to the rest of the U.S. was the problem.

    Also, since 1999, Texas has had a deregulated, energy-only market structure, which means that suppliers get paid only for the electricity they produce and sell, and the market is not regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. So there were also calls for a transition to a forward-capacity-market structure in which suppliers are paid not only for what they sell but also to maintain the capacity to produce more than they sell. A few observers claimed that a capacity market would have avoided the fiasco.

  33. @anon

    More diversion. At least you mentioned ERCOT. Thanks for small favors.

    But you’re wrong. The whole point is, those who administer Texas energy could have easily factored in any DOE orders there are–by planning for them ahead of time, and compensating. The whole point is that ERCOT rules make it impossible to truly plan ahead and compensate for possible emergencies.

    Not only that, but wind in Texas during the blackout was performing at slightly above forecasted expectations. You see, they do take the possible output of all energy sectors, including wind, into account, when forecasting. The problem is, they forecast, but they don’t plan ahead, because the market as constituted in Texas will not allow truly planning ahead, paradoxical as that may seem.

  34. @anon

    Pathetic. Prove that the DOE order had anything whatsoever directly and clearly to do with the Texas blackout. You can’t.

    On the other hand, I can prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the ERCOT regime of privatized, de-regulated “just in time” management make it utterly impossible for anyone to do anything about foreseeable emergencies.

    You’re just trying to make regulation the bad guy. I got your number. Chronic libertarian blindness is a serious problem.

    For your information, ERCOT rules are also regulations, just regulations that force energy providers not to plan for the future, not to work together for the betterment of the state, and especially to cut corners like a freezing house afire, because there is no benefit in not cutting corners, if you follow ERCOT regulations.

  35. @El Dato

    “Regulation” is just a meaningless buzzword (you’re right about that, but for the wrong reasons), that you people just trot out when you need a boogie-man.

    In reality, Texas’s energy market, is “regulated.” By ERCOT’s “unregulated” regulations, that absolutely insist upon cutting corners, being totally unprepared for plausibly-predictable exigencies, and complete unreliability. They have no financial incentive to be prepared.

    In effect, contrary to the neo-liberal nonsense they use to justify it, ERCOT’s regime is not “free-market” but “market manipulation.” Market manipulation is not free market. Even if privatized entities are the ones manipulating the market.

    Look at ENRON. Same thing. Replacing state-regulation, with privatized regulation causes blackouts, price gouging, death and destruction.

    States that have public, non-privatized, state-regulated utilities do not have these problems.

    “The blame game has some pointing to frozen wind turbines as the cause of the blackouts. But the real problem in Texas is that generators have no financial incentive to invest in their own assets and keep them ready for winter, because the less stable they are, the more money they charge for their power.

    Resolving Texas’s energy debacle requires major structural changes. An expedient solution is to create a capacity market similar to those in other states wherein generators would be compensated to keep their equipment ready. A second option is to return to a vertically integrated market that is focused on reliability such that power is available every day and the utilities earn a guaranteed return on investment for building out capacity that may only be required a few days a year when demand peaks.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/18/texans-grid-outage-deregulation/

  36. @Jim Christian

    Very good. Can you grow your own? If not then weed is not legal. But it Could be whether Imperial Washington likes it or not. And it’s not just your State House. Your County Sheriff has more cloubt than you might think.

    Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association
    https://cspoa.org/

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  37. Resartus says:

    They have no financial incentive to be prepared.

    Anyone notice, D.C. didn’t declare an emergency (at least till it was mostly over)…
    While not declaring an emergency, they also didn’t lock down prices…..

  38. botazefa says:
    @ruralguy

    The cold spell caused Texans to run their furnaces more often, creating a huge demand for natural gas, that competed with the utilities’ increasing demand

    You should know that in Texas much, probably a majority, of consumer furnaces are electric, not natural gas.

    My house has gas, and it never flickered. But we did lose electricity for 72hrs.

    “When demand exceeds supply, the utility has no choice but decrease its generation”

    Not in this case. Demand wasn’t the issue. Generators went offline due to the foul weather. A supply side problem, according to ERCOT.

    • Replies: @ruralguy
  39. botazefa says:
    @obwandiyag

    Privatization and deregulation caused this problem. If you actually know about energy in Texas, you would know this fact

    The foul weather caused the problem, no? It may be true that privatization and deregulation played a role, but those are not the proximal cause.

    Of the 45 gigawatts that went offline, it has been reported that 18gigawatts of that were wind/solar.

    It is fair to ask if weatherization investments were cannibalized by clean energy investments.

    It’s not complicated, but neither is it as simple as your statement makes it seem. IIRC, there have always been private players in the Texas energy market. I do agree that Texas made a mistake when it deregulated its energy markets.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  40. @omegabooks

    Its surpassingly odd that Mr Paul blames government inspectors for failing to tell owners how to run their business.

  41. anon[712] • Disclaimer says:
    @onebornfree

    Government run or regulated utilities provide steady reliable power to the majority of advanced nations in the world. It’s not “government” that’s the problem, it’s US style government corruption that’s the problem.

  42. ruralguy says:
    @botazefa

    True, but about 43% of Texas homes are heated with natural gas.

    ERCOT said BOTH excess demand and loss of supply were responsible. The grid operator faced a peak demand of 69,150 MW, far above its projected peak of 57,699 MW for the winter season. It didn’t have the capacity for the demand, especially given the loss of generation assets due to the icing and other effects. The loss of supply was significant too. 46,000 MW went offline, due to forced outages and due to failed generation assets. 185 generation plants were tripped.

    Because of the loss of supply and the excess demand, the Texas Public Utility Commission issued an order mandating that all electric transmission and distribution utilities perform rolling blackouts.

    When I was a teenager, I worked at a rural-electrification coop as an assistant engineer. When the summer demand was too high, my manager showed me how to do one of those rolling blackouts.

  43. @botazefa

    My god are you people stupid. I got to hold your hand and lead you to understanding.

    Look. The whole point is that privatization and de-regulation according to the ERCOT scheme militates against preparedness.

    They were unprepared. Because of p & de-r. Period.

    They could have been prepared. If Texas had state-regulated utilities with a guaranteed uniform rate of return for energy providers, they would have been prepared. Letting the “market” govern energy production and allocation means the providers have to cut corners, have to remain unprepared, because they can afford nothing else.

    This is the point. They were unprepared. They were unprepared. They were unprepared. Why? Privatization and de-regulation, privatization and de-regulation, privatization and de-regulation.

    Any other point is just persiphlage.

    Your “statistics” about gigawatts are a bunch of massaging.

    Here’s one you won’t like. Wind in Texas throughout the storm and aftermath have performed slightly better than predicted.

    Don’t see that fact in your “statistics.”

    I have a feeling this issue is too complicated for you. You just can’t let go of this “the wind caused it,” like a kid with a lollipop. This is why you are known as “the infantile right.”

    • Agree: Carroll Price
  44. @Bro43rd

    Regulation of utilities is state-run, not federal. States that have state-regulated utilities with a guaranteed rate of return to energy providers do not have the problems that Texas had.

    And just in case you were wondering: ““The crisis in Texas was not caused by the state’s renewable energy industry. The largest loss of generation came from gas-fired power plants, with the drop-off from wind farms a long way behind,” said Ed Crooks, vice chairman, Americas, with Wood Mackenzie.”

  45. @Achmed E. Newman

    Acchie, Acchie, I don’t smoke joints, just little pipe pops. Never in public or on the road. I have such low tolerance for THC I get as fucked up as a football bat just looking at it, let alone smoking cigars made of the stuff. This is not your father’s marijuana.. Anyway, at LOGAN I have to sneak a cigarette in far more crafty fashion than potheads and their joints, believe me. Cue up the tune, Smokin In The Boys Room here.In the plane everyone was masked, no hassles. Flight was an Airbus A321 Neo, brand new, half full. I bought 1st row, window, starboard side. Last on, first off, haul ass to the tram. As to the other thing, I quite prefer my ice and scotch to a daily puff of weed, which is mostly something to achieve spiritual Shangri La with the female flavor of the month or six weeks. It seems to make them happy and that’s what I’m all about. Happy for awhile. As Morrison said, women are wicked when you’re straaaange. And today, I golf. See ya, Acchie!

  46. @WorkingClass

    I don’t bother growing my own but I have put in a lot of ground fault electrical outlets in people’s basements for their grows, the lights, pumps, timers and fans.They give me the stuff for free, some of it’s pretty good, some people have a green thumb, others produce buds that do nothing and they give up. Growing good weed isn’t as simple as it seems. Stores have nice weed, at 65 dollars a gram, taxed heavily. But if you don’t have a friend growing, the theft of the stores is your only option I guess. Meanwhile I put way more thought into this stuff than a guy in his sixties oughtta. Childish things, never set aside, like motorcycles, sexual hedonism and two fingers of scotch. If not in my teens-sixties, then when?

  47. Emslander says:
    @onebornfree

    Unz needs to add an “agree” button that has ten exclamation marks. (!!!!!!!!!!)

  48. There were no unintended consequences. The catastrophic energy fiasco has been planned by the Zionist global syndicate ever since the elites Club of Rome came up with the “New Ice Age” fraud in the 60’s then moved it over to “global warming” (now climate change). This was accompanied by pseudo scientist Paul Erlich and “Earth Day.” Now we have eugenicist Gates and WEF elitist Klaus Schwab with their “you will own nothing, and be happy” mantra while they are living in vast estates and flying in private jets around to lecture the world on austerity and the fake “pandemic.” Super hypocrites all just like our shabbos goy governor and his Green energy Award. Ever since this environmental scam began we have been bombarded by the Jew MSM and Occidental Petroleum Bolshevik Armand Hammer’s Shill Al Gore as we face always another last ten years to environmental apocalypse.

    A society of independent individuals minding their own business, free of government intrusions doesn’t do anything for the Zionist elite. The Green Energy scam just like the fake virus is an integral part of the Sustainable Development Initiative that requires scarcity, austerity, food shortage, energy quotas and universal poverty (except for the elite) in order to institute the Neo-feudalist technocratic globalist Agenda 21.

    Using mandates required by the completely bogus (like the fake virus) “Climate Change” large numbers of coal fired generating plants have been shut down in Texas since the (((Pritzker’s))) Chicago poverty pimp nigger Obama was installed in office. Replacing these reliable, clean systems are the asinine, windmill disasters that while providing subsidies to the politically connected do not even pay for themselves over the life of the monstrosities when the total cost is figured in. There are large areas of this environmental refuse already in places such as California that are just abandoned eye sores.

    In the recent cold wave ap. half of these pieces of shit around Austin froze up and they actually were flying helicopters around spraying the crap with deicing fluid. . It would not have made any difference because once the cold came in, the wind died down to nothing anyway. What could possibly be more asinine than trying to generate electricity in such a manner in the state which produces the most energy of any state in Jewmerica? Or to do this nonsense anywhere else for that matter.

    My daughter lives in Austin and was out of electricity for 136 hours and out of water for another day. Huge numbers of people have been fleeing California and going to this area. I would recommend others who have not yet been suckered into this high priced rat hole to think carefully about it. The reality of the situation however is that unless and until the people of this country wake up and throw ALL of the Zionist operatives like Abbot out of power, the manufactured energy crisis just like the fake virus will continue to get worse until everyone is reduced to being no more than a barnyard animal on the Zionist plantation.

  49. Stop letting the Zionists with their global warming green energy scam make a fool of everyone,( as they are with the fake virus) while they continue to move us all into their long planned Neo-feudal austerity nightmare of U.N. Agenda 2030-021. The more power we let them have, the further down we will all go and the worse things will get. Take a lesson from the disaster in Germany:

    https://stopthesethings.com/2021/02/09/coal-comfort-total-collapse-in-wind-solar-output-leaves-freezing-germans-desperate-for-coal-fired-power/

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