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Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:51 AM Feb 2021

A friend posted this fine summary of Texas current problem:

Texas Plight simplified. Hubris. Arrogance. Pitiful yet so predictable.

ERCOT = Electric Reliability Council of Texas. They operate and manage the de-regulated, private energy grid.

1.) After 2011’s snow storm during Super Bowl week at the new Cowboys stadium, various agencies (including ERCOT) agreed that winterizing our power grid should be a top priority.

2.) The public forgot and politicians and private companies did nothing.

3.) In this latest storm, the temperature was so cold that not only did natural gas lines freeze, but delivery systems for coal and natural gas froze as well. Some wind turbines also froze, but wind accounts for about 10,000 Megawatts of total production and ERCOT has said 30,000 Megawatts total were lost at the peak of the outage.

4.) Neither fossil fuels nor renewable energy is to blame. What’s to blame is that the winterization of equipment was put off as an expense because it eats into profits. Remember, the power companies in Texas are all private and completely de-regulated. So, which company is going to eat into profits to protect against a 100 year storm unless required to do so?

5.) We are experiencing more erratic climate because 99% of all scientists agree that climate change is real. I’ll bet someone thought that the 2011 storm was a once in a lifetime storm and that this wouldn’t happen again. I guess folks should start listening to the professionals. 🤷🏽?♂️

6.) Now the Governor is all hot and bothered because A.) I’m sure he cares that a lot of people might die (I don’t like the guy, but I doubt he’s heartless), B.) This is a stain on his record, and C.) I think he will run for the Presidency in 2024. So he’s on the news blaming ERCOT, wind turbines, and saying that he’s going to hold people accountable... basically the same nonsense politicians spew after knowing they messed up.

7.) What the Governor isn’t telling you is that every member managing ERCOT was appointed by him. That this problem was caused by lack of investment for the public good. That the Texas legislature has not mandated any regulations on the power companies since the 2011 storm. And, that all politicians know that 90% of you will forget by next week when the weather hits 60 degrees.

Coming out of this mess, people should ask themselves: Why keep voting for politicians who tell you government can’t help you? That’s like hiring a CEO who tells people don’t buy his company’s products.

Overall, I hope people don’t forget. I hope those who are riding out this storm with no worries realize there are millions who are worried. I hope we all realize that building stronger communities is not done individually.

21 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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A friend posted this fine summary of Texas current problem: (Original Post) Still Sensible Feb 2021 OP
Texas houses are built to keep heat out Skittles Feb 2021 #1
True. And it makes it even more important for the state to Still Sensible Feb 2021 #3
THAT would require people to start electing Democrats Skittles Feb 2021 #4
That's exactly right. Even after this, Republicans will not fix the problem. They don't do that. Midnight Writer Feb 2021 #10
That is news to me and I live here. Last time it was below freezing cayugafalls Feb 2021 #7
might not be EVERYWHERE in Texas Skittles Feb 2021 #8
The freezes In 1990 and ten years ago DENVERPOPS Feb 2021 #11
I lived in Dallas from 1981 to 1996... Raster Feb 2021 #13
This is just one of the many examples Still Sensible Feb 2021 #2
If government can't help us cope Demobrat Feb 2021 #5
forgetting? NJCher Feb 2021 #6
Texas voters, I think, will indeed forget this and will DENVERPOPS Feb 2021 #12
If Abbott doesn't fix this problem, companies will think twice about moving to Texas dalton99a Feb 2021 #9
Good point! Duppers Feb 2021 #15
Something else TX Gov Abbot is not saying is that the top persons managing ERCOT... Raster Feb 2021 #14
He mentioned that yesterday in his little speech denouncing the ERCOT CEO dalton99a Feb 2021 #16
Unfortunately like you mentioned..all was forgotten following a 2011 debacle Thekaspervote Feb 2021 #17
2011 was a forgettable inconvenience compared to this disaster: dalton99a Feb 2021 #18
If I read a story accurately, El Paso did upgrades following 2011 Hassler Feb 2021 #19
I believe that is correct. n/t Still Sensible Feb 2021 #20
And sorry, I shouldn't bring sports into this,but the Packers did win that Super Bowl in 2011 💚💛 a kennedy Feb 2021 #21

Skittles

(152,871 posts)
1. Texas houses are built to keep heat out
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:54 AM
Feb 2021

not to keep heat in

as pointed out in another article, if you plan in such a way to cool down 30 degrees from 105, that is half of what it takes to go from 10 degrees to 70 degrees

one thing I have noticed about Texas is they get slammed by a snow/ice storm almost EVERY year but they always act like it is a big surprise

Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
3. True. And it makes it even more important for the state to
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:00 AM
Feb 2021

make sure their infrastructure is safe and prepared for these rare, but inevitable, events. Especially now that the climate crisis is ongoing.

cayugafalls

(5,547 posts)
7. That is news to me and I live here. Last time it was below freezing
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:13 AM
Feb 2021

for an extended period of time was nearly ten years ago and we did not have the ice storm nor the snow so it was not as bad, you could travel and grocery stores remained stocked.

Before that one was the big freeze of 1989 and even then it got really phreaking cold but the ice and snow were absent, so yea, travel and stocked shelves.

This one is different. Ice and snow, severe cold, extended lows below 20. Roads and infrastructure shut down because no one could move. Grocery stores, delivery services, critical emergency services - all were affected. It is only now starting to recover and will be early next week before stores reopen fully and shelves have food and water again.

Skittles

(152,871 posts)
8. might not be EVERYWHERE in Texas
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:32 AM
Feb 2021

but certainly it happens enough where they should know IT HAPPENS

PS...I live here too

DENVERPOPS

(8,591 posts)
11. The freezes In 1990 and ten years ago
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 02:33 AM
Feb 2021

were seriously investigated by the Feds. They made many recommendations on the subject. They were completely thrown out by the Utility. Many of the recommendations they made would have helped minimize the crisis we have seen.

I think it is going to take a long time and a fortune to even begin to get things back to normal in all these southern states that got frozen.

There will be a huge ripple effect, and cascading of problems that will happen in the very near future that Texans haven't even thought about yet.

The RepubliCONs in Texas are so excited that Biden ordered immediate federal aid. They won't thank Biden or say how grateful they are, they will blame their freeze on the Democrats. The governor is already saying it is the Dems fault while he takes all he can from the Democrats in the Federal Gov't.......

Raster

(20,996 posts)
13. I lived in Dallas from 1981 to 1996...
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 02:47 AM
Feb 2021

...1983 saw a massive ice storm in North Texas, that completely shut down the metroplex. It remained below freezing for approximately 14 days. Fort Worth's water system, which was based on old cast iron pipes, burst, leaving FW without reliable water for weeks.

Still Sensible

(2,870 posts)
2. This is just one of the many examples
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 12:56 AM
Feb 2021

of the typical way that greedy anti government republican policies eventually result in fucking the public!

Demobrat

(8,857 posts)
5. If government can't help us cope
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:06 AM
Feb 2021

with natural disasters what do we pay taxes for?

To put cameras on Mars while people on earth sicken and die in pandemics, freeze to death, and drown in hurricanes?

DENVERPOPS

(8,591 posts)
12. Texas voters, I think, will indeed forget this and will
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 02:38 AM
Feb 2021

continue to re-elect the R Governor, and the two R Senators.......

dalton99a

(80,525 posts)
9. If Abbott doesn't fix this problem, companies will think twice about moving to Texas
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 01:47 AM
Feb 2021

or staying in Texas

and he knows it


Raster

(20,996 posts)
14. Something else TX Gov Abbot is not saying is that the top persons managing ERCOT...
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 02:50 AM
Feb 2021

...DO. NOT. LIVE. IN. TEXAS. That's right, the good ol' boys that run the ERCOT shitshow don't even live in Texas.

dalton99a

(80,525 posts)
16. He mentioned that yesterday in his little speech denouncing the ERCOT CEO
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 04:40 AM
Feb 2021
... We have already begun the process to make sure that events like this never again happen in Texas and that starts with reforming the agency in charge of electric reliability in Texas which is ERCOT. What happened this week to our fellow Texans is absolutely unacceptable and can never be replicated again. It’s especially unacceptable when you realize what ERCOT told the state of Texas. They said five days before the winter storm hit, the ERCOT CEO assured ERCOT and I quote, “We’re ready for the cold temperatures coming our way.” He said that ERCOT had issued a notice to power plants to ensure that they were winterized properly and ERCOT’s annual winter assessment, which is designed to ensure that the state is prepared, assured the public that there would be enough power to meet peak demand this winter.

ERCOT failed on each of these measures that they said they had undertaken. Texans deserve answers about why these shortfalls occurred and how they’re going to be corrected and Texans will get those answers. That’s exactly why I have issued an executive order that added emergency items to the legislative session asking the legislature to investigate what happened at ERCOT that led up to and during the course of the response to this winter storm, but there is more than that that must be done to prevent Texas from going without power again. So today, I am adding more emergency items to the legislative session. First, I am asking the legislature to mandate the winterization of generators and the power system. Second, I am calling for the funding needed to ensure that this winterization and modernization occurs. Now I’ve already been in multiple discussions with both Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick as well as Speaker Dave Phelan and with the chairs of the relevant committees that will be in charge of these efforts. That includes Senator Hancock and Representatives Goldman and Paddie...

Let me tell you what I will do and what I am doing. I’m taking responsibility for the current status of ERCOT. Again, I find what has happened unacceptable. Let me tell you what I learned today. Just a couple of weeks before this winter storm occurred, they elected some new members, I think there’s a new chair and vice chair of the board, people from outside the State of Texas. And so, part of my charge to the legislature is to restructure the way the board of ERCOT works and to restructure the membership of the board to ensure that the membership is going to be more responsive to the people of Texas. ...


(Board members are appointed by a nominating committee made up of current members.)

Thekaspervote

(32,197 posts)
17. Unfortunately like you mentioned..all was forgotten following a 2011 debacle
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 04:46 AM
Feb 2021

Not sure this will change voters minds....again!

dalton99a

(80,525 posts)
18. 2011 was a forgettable inconvenience compared to this disaster:
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 04:57 AM
Feb 2021
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ercot-rollingblackots/texas-weathers-rolling-blackouts-as-mercury-drops-idUSTRE7116ZH20110202

February 2, 2011 11:25 AM Updated 10 years ago
Texas weathers rolling blackouts as mercury drops
By Chris Baltimore

The grid operator declared an energy emergency after unusually frigid weather shut down 7,000 megawatts of power generators, about 8 percent of the installed capacity in the second-most populous state. Spot power prices surged 60-fold at one point, and Mexico exported electricity.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) rescinded its call for rolling blackouts at about 2 p.m. local time, but warned of a “strong possibility” it will reinstate them later Wednesday or Thursday unless more power plants return to help meet forecasts for even stronger heating demand as temperatures in some cities dip below freezing through Friday.

While the disruptions had little impact on major oil and gas operations in the heart of the U.S. energy industry, they left nearly 1 million homes dark and without heat for up to an hour, caused some schools and businesses to shut and spurred traffic snarls as some traffic lights stopped working.

“Rolling blackouts in Houston ... You would have never thought you would see the day in the energy capital of the world,” Jack Moore, chief executive of oilfield services equipment maker Cameron said on a conference call conducted from a division office because its Houston headquarters had no power.

Transmission utilities including American Electric Power Co and CenterPoint Energy imposed the blackouts, which are rare in Texas. Similar measures were last taken in April 2006 when soaring heat caused demand for air conditioning to surge.

Hassler

(3,283 posts)
19. If I read a story accurately, El Paso did upgrades following 2011
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 06:16 PM
Feb 2021

And has not had the widespread blackouts the rest of the state.

a kennedy

(29,266 posts)
21. And sorry, I shouldn't bring sports into this,but the Packers did win that Super Bowl in 2011 💚💛
Fri Feb 19, 2021, 07:25 PM
Feb 2021
After 2011’s snow storm during Super Bowl week at the new Cowboys stadium, various agencies (including ERCOT) agreed that winterizing our power grid should be a top priority.
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