Home U.S Extreme weather is the culprit in the Texas power crisis, but that's...

Extreme weather is the culprit in the Texas power crisis, but that's not our worst problem

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The massive electric power outages in Texas may seem puzzling to many: How can a state so rich in energy resources be brought to its knees by a winter storm, leaving millions of households without electricity and many without water?  

The early blame game has elected officials pointing the finger at renewable energy resources and “green energy” policies, and calling for the heads of power companies and the state’s electricity regulators. The governor announced he is launching an official investigation, and judgment should be reserved until an unbiased process has been completed. 

Finger-pointing at this point is misguided and counterproductive. Renewables only supply about 20% of Texas’ electricity and are unrelated to the state’s other traditional power generators that are shut down or malfunctioning. The fact is that electricity system operators in Texas did not adequately plan for a highly unlikely event — in this case a pair of massive winter storms engulfing more of the state than usual, exacerbated by sustained bitter cold. It is important to note, for example, that traditional power plants depend on multiple systems for operations, and it appears that those systems may not have been designed or winterized to withstand extreme cold weather.

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