Texas

The Texas Blackout Blame Game

Neither wind power nor deregulation are responsible for the Texas power disaster.

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"If I owned Texas and Hell," Gen. Philip Sheridan once said, "I would rent out Texas and live in Hell." He probably was thinking about our hot summers, but after last week Hell's central heating is starting to seem appealing. Millions of Texans were left without electricity, heat, and in some cases water service.

The Texas blackouts are shaping up to be the costliest disaster in state history, and the loss of life remains unknown. People are justifiably very angry. And when people are angry, politicians look around for someone to blame. Many have trotted out their favorite villains for the occasion. Many on the right have picked Don Quixote's old enemy, the windmill, while many on the left jumped at the chance to blame deregulation. Neither explanation really holds up. While it will be some time before all the specifics are known, what we do know doesn't support any easy political narrative.

The central fact about the chain of events that led to the blackouts is deceptively simple: It got super cold.

In order to keep the lights on, electric generation must match demand on a minute-by-minute basis. For that reason, the system's planners and forecasters focus their attention on the times of the year when demand is typically highest. In Texas, that's the heat of summer. Many features of our electric grid are designed to work optimally during the summer, with the understanding that in the winter we will usually have far more electric capacity that we need.

The state was not prepared for record cold temperatures stretching across all 254 Texas counties. This generated summer levels of electric demand, and it also caused significant amounts of generation to become unusable. Because really cold temperatures are rare in Texas, many plants contain components that are not protected from the elements. This is true for generators of all fuel types, from wind to nuclear. In addition, Texas typically relies heavily on natural gas to meet its peak electric demand, as natural gas plants are easier to ramp up or down on short notice. During the summer that's not a problem. In the winter, though, gas is also used for heating, and many gas plants did not have firm contracts to deliver fuel and had trouble buying it on the open market. Finally, the winter is a time when some plants shut down for scheduled maintenance.

The result: In the early morning hours of February 15, the state's grid operator—the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT—found itself facing a supply shortfall with more than a third of the grid's thermal generation capacity (natural gas, coal, and nuclear) unusable. To prevent total system failure, ERCOT ordered utilities to curtail service, plunging millions of homes into darkness and cold.

The sheer size of the supply hole makes it hard to blame either wind or deregulation for the failure. While pictures of frozen wind turbines may be evocative, ERCOT's forecasts do not rely on a large amount of wind to sustain the system—and wind ended up meeting those expectations. Some have argued that the low cost of wind power over the last decade has forced the retirement of more reliable power plants that could have helped make up the gap had they been there. I've addressed those arguments at length elsewhere; here I'll add that many of the recently retired Texas plants were rendered unprofitable not by wind but by the fracking-induced fall in natural gas prices. And given how many thermal plants failed, it doesn't seem plausible that having a few more of them would have made the difference.

Similarly, there is little reason to think that Texas' competitive electric system is to blame. ERCOT's most recent winter forecast included a worst-case scenario for the grid that roughly predicted the needed demand but underestimated the amount of generation that would be unusable by almost half. A more centralized or state-run electric system almost certainly would have relied on the same forecast and ended up in the same situation. In retrospect, it's easy to blame generators for not doing more to protect their plants from cold. But if a plant had known that unprecedented cold was coming and had weatherized, it would now be reaping millions in benefits. The problem was not a lack of incentives but a lack of imagination.

One outstanding question has to do with the fact that Texas maintains its own separate electric grid (the rest of the continental United States is split between an eastern and western grid). This has given the state more control over electric policy, and the state is large enough that historically not being part of a larger grid has not been a problem. Would Texas have been able to avoid its problems if it had been part of one of these larger interconnects? So far I don't think we have the data to answer this question one way or the other. In theory, a larger geography should help, and while neighboring states also had to resort to rolling blackouts, they did not do so on nearly the same scale. However, I've yet to see any detailed analysis of whether being part of a larger system would have reduced the overall number of outages or simply spread them out over a greater area.  

That's not a very satisfying answer, and I'm sure that there are many decisions made in the days and years leading up to the blackouts that will and should be second-guessed. But fundamentally the blackouts happened because across the entire system, people did not anticipate how bad things could get. It was a failure to expect the unexpected.

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  1. Your public utility is not obligated to serve you 24/7/365. That is their goal. But shit happens. Outages due to effects of cold weather have hit there before and they will happen again.

    1. But the government could totally fix everything if only those evil republicans|democrats stopped fighting everything good! Always one law away from utopia! /s

      1. Another law added to the messy mess of what we have simply impedes our freedom and quite possible removes a freedom. Government is very seldom a solution to any problem but is most always the cause. Self reliance is frequently the solution. Self reliance requires options for fall back should another option fail. I have a fireplace that burns real fuel, a gas fired heat pump central HVAC system, and enough wind and solar power that either one can meet the demands in normal conditions. Most of the time the system runs off grid or pumps electrical into the grid. This Arctic cold blast of these last several days did nothing more than bury the driveway out of here in three to four feet of snow drifts. I had every thing I needed here and let the snow become a self resolving problem. The electrical grid was out for four days, but that caused no problems as the fireplace and HVAC system worked quite well with the backup power. The grid is up now and I spent this morning repairing the wind mills that suffered wind and ice damage. It works. It is amazing what you can do if you want to learn skills and develop abilities.

    2. This was a black-swan event. I hope the state doesn’t make knee jerk decisions based on very rare events.

      1. Again, when life gives you a Black Swan, make foie gras, pillows, and a switched-up Thanksgiving dinner. Oh and would you please pass the mint jelly?

      2. Was it really though? It’s not an event that happens every year, but the Texas power grid has been shut down by winter storms before.

    3. I love the belief that we can handle making our cars electric. Because lord knows we have that level of capacity…

      1. They would have built the capacity for the cars, and that capacity would have then been available for the emergency, because cars buried in surprise snow don’t consume electricity, leaving the capacity built for charging those cars to keep heating homes.

    4. “ Public utilities have a “duty to serve.” This means that utilities must provide service to any member of the public living within the utility’s service area who has applied for service and is willing to pay for the service and comply with the utility’s rules and regulations.”
      – National Consumer Law Center

  2. It wasn’t even a failure to expect the unexpected. It was an acknowledgement that you have to draw the line somewhere. It gets progressively more expensive to protect yourself completely from progressively more extreme (and rare) events. At some point you have to say that it’s not worth protecting against a given disaster because the cost of maintaining that protection all day, every day is more than the damage that would be done.

    I’m sure people will analyze this disaster and a fair analysis will tell us if this level of cold is worth protecting Texas from or not. Of course, individuals can always protect themselves from just about any possibility if they really want to. They don’t have to depend on the state to do it for them.

    1. It wasn’t even a failure to expect the unexpected. It was an acknowledgement that you have to draw the line somewhere. It gets progressively more expensive to protect yourself completely from progressively more extreme (and rare) events.

      Imagine if regulators in TX had forced the utilities to “weatherize” against this kind of extreme (by TX standards) cold and this storm hadn’t happened. People would be forced to pay more for electricity year round because the regulators wanted to protect against a once in a lifetime freak winter storm.

      Yeah, this sucks and I have family down there, so I’m not unsympathetic but I’ve yet to see any of the people screeching about “MuH ReGuLaShUnZ” offer up any actual proposals on how more regulation would have helped other than vague hand waving about “winterizing.” And if you point out the simple economic fact that requiring that kind of thing in a place that doesn’t typically get that severe winter weather you tend to get a lot of shrugging and implications that maybe Texans should be happy to pay more for their electricity, even if some people are barely making ends meet as it is. At which point their argument is basically some version of “maybe they should just stop being poor.”

      Of course, individuals can always protect themselves from just about any possibility if they really want to. They don’t have to depend on the state to do it for them.

      Oh well, that’s just straight up crazy talk! /sarc

      1. The big question no one will answer is “What would it have cost up front and yearly to protect Texas against this kind of weather event?” I bet people would be shocked at the price tag. Doesn’t matter when it’s someone else’s money, though.

        1. I’ve lived in Texas for over a decade and I wouldn’t have bet much even if I were given 1,000-1 odds at all of Texas freezing over at once. In the last decade where I live we’ve had one slight dusting of snow and maybe two nights a year when it gets below freezing. Now we’re going to pay a lot to ensure a likely once in two century event, never happens again.

          1. This happened in 2011, as well. So…

            1. No. In 2011 it got in to the 20s in parts of the state and some people had 8 hours of blackout. We have had those same temperatures since and not required blackouts. This time it got down to 4 in Dallas and 20 in Galveston. Not the same thing.

        2. But Uncle Joe is going to make it all better….but right now he’s playing video games with his granddaughter.

          If this had occurred under the Trump administration and he didn’t respond to the emergency for a week while Texans froze to death, we’d have seen the third impeachment and Pelosi would have been chewing on his leg.

          1. Ordinarily it would be kind of sickening to see a guy playing Mario Kart at Camp David one month into his “presidency”, but this kind of stimulus is probably the only thing that can keep the motherfucker awake past 7 PM.

        3. The big question that apologists for this tragic national disgrace won’t ask the actual customers is how much it would’ve been worth to them each month to keep their dead relatives alive or to keep the pipes in their businesses from bursting and destroying their livelihoods, or to be able to get emergency medical attention. Or water. You get the idea. I only ask now because it’s reasonable to expect that, given a choice, a 10,000% increase in the cost of the electricity that wasn’t delivered that got those people killed in the first place wouldn’t be their first one.

          But that’s just speculation. If you know what that price tag would’ve been, and you must or you wouldn’t have posted about it, you also know what the monthly impact to customers would’ve been, and how much the damage will cost now against what it would’ve cost to prepare for it. Just in dollars, of course. Death, destruction and suffering are harder to quantify financially. So how much? Don’t forget your attribution!

          1. We haven’t ever seen a tsunami, but we should get a system of warning sirens in place to trigger off a system of wave monitoring buoys. We’ve never had a 8.0 earthquake, but we should start seismically retrofitting our buildings and bridges. The coasts don’t see many tornadoes, but they should start building more tornado shelters. It’s all the same emotional nonsense.
            The energy producers are going to look at the cost of winterizing every year against the damage to their plants, the lost revenue and the inevitable law suits. The homeowners are going to have to look at the cost of a generator and insurance covering water damage from frozen pipes against the cost of simply repairing infrequent damage. The insurance companies are going to look at the payouts and settle on a cost for insuring against these risks.
            There is no one pot of money from which to balance the cost of winterizing against the cost of all the damage across the state.

        4. I live in Northern Illinois and this kind of weather event happens regularly. Windmills and power plants don’t freeze up because precautions are taken. Presumably the cost is included in my monthly bill. I don’t like paying it but electricity up here is not cost prohibitive. I’m not sure I get the argument that Texans would somehow be bankrupted by something billions of people manage to budget for.

          1. Do you also have to deal with 105 degree summers? Our plants are built differently because the summer is when more power is typically used and they need to be cooler not warmer. It also where that natural gas supply issue came into play. In Galveston last week’s low was 20 today it is 56. Dallas had a high of 21 last Tuesday. Today it is 79. The cold weather really is an extreme event.

      2. And if you point out the simple economic fact that requiring that kind of thing in a place that doesn’t typically get that severe winter weather you tend to get a lot of shrugging and implications that maybe Texans should be happy to pay more for their electricity, even if some people are barely making ends meet as it is.

        Actually the simple economic fact is that Texans are going to see the cost of failing to winterize and ‘doing their own thing’ in their upcoming utility bills. February bills are either in the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars – or they lived in the dark with frozen pipes etc. And surprise surprise – Texas Republicans are now saying that the federal government should now step in and ‘help’ Texans pay those utility bills. IOW – doing their own thing until the bills come due – and then trying to suck on Uncle Sam’s tits.

        1. If you lose power in those conditions and you don’t drain your pipes first thing you’re a fucking idiot and don’t deserve any sympathy.

          1. If people in TX don’t know how to drive on icy roads, then why would they know frozen pipes? My sister lost her tankless water heater inside. Even though they temporarily insulated all the pipes from outside. And honestly I didn’t remember all the ways pipes can freeze in our short conversations. Maybe I should just tell her she’s a fucking idiot and doesn’t deserve any sympathy because I’m libertarian and she’s not.

            1. You can have sympathy for someone’s predicament without espousing magical proclamations that the state would have never let this happen. Unfortunately statists are idiots who don’t understand this, and somehow there’s a lot of libertarian statists all of the sudden.

            2. Which is why I said DRAIN the pipes.

              1. And go 5 days without running water???

                Do you know how many people took to Nextdoor and even the Ring app to ask neighbors how to shutoff their water to their house because they had a busted pipe? Far too many. If this many people don’t know how to shut off water to their house, they aren’t likely to think to do this and drain their pipes.

                1. I’d say the fact that tons of suburban residents aren’t aware of basic shit like how to turn off the water main to their house is more of an indictment of how poorly their parents raised them. This has been one of the most important things to know about a home since the establishment of central plumbing.

                  If the WW2 and Boomer generations understood this, they really failed the Gen-Xers and Millennials by not subsequently providing these basic lessons. Maybe this wouldn’t be a problem in a less atomized or privileged society, but the 50-and-unders are going to need to figure this shit out, or were looking at a general degradation of society due to sheer incompetence.

                  1. not subsequently providing these basic lessons.

                    There is a shit-ton of ‘basic lessons’ that pretty much nobody understands anymore. In large part, though not at all exclusively, because the notion of ‘division of labor’ becomes a lesson of dependence in a society that depends on markets to function.

                    A lot of people don’t know how to slaughter livestock. Only to get a knife and cut the plastic off the wrapping. Hell – a lot of people probably can’t even figure that out since ‘food’ equals ‘whatever you can have delivered or eat in a restaurant’.

                    How many know how to forage for food? To ensure drinking water is safe? To read a paragraph for comprehension? To add a column of numbers? Let’s forget anything more complicated than addition. Where they are on a map? How to get from here to there in the real world using a map? How to distinguish between a seasonal flu with previous immunity and a novel virus that is much deadlier with no immunity? How to know when a pol is lying? How to know when you WANT them to lie?

                    1. How to distinguish between a seasonal flu with previous immunity and a novel virus that is much deadlier with no immunity?

                      oh, darn; and you were doing so well with your how to lists…

                    2. Well I didn’t just want the preppers to say – yep I agree with all that

                2. No, do you.

              2. In most cases you don’t even have to do that. Leave the taps open enough to keep the water moving.

            3. Why not just do it all so you can later ignore where you were bad wrong, like you do with covid?

        2. Those are people who were on direct wholesale pricing which isn’t common, though it usually saves them money. They are getting exactly what their contracts spelled out. So no, most Texans do not have utility bills in the thousands of dollars, was that some retarded shit you saw on Occupy Democrats?

        3. Very few Texans have those types of contracts.

      3. At which point their argument is basically some version of “maybe they should just stop being poor.”

        I think at that point, their argument is “just make someone else pay for it.”

      4. While I agree with the general principle (invest in protection based on risk-adjusted cost/benefit analysis), we should note that this kind of weather isn’t that extreme even for Texas. Similar cold snaps are well documented in the historical record.

        1. Yeah every 100 years. This was literally the first time it got like this with modern infrastructure.

          1. Yes – like literally the first time since Feb 2011. Which is like way before modern infrastructure. And damn that’s almost like 1010 years in a base 2 numbering system

            1. The temps then were in the 20s not single digits.

              1. Much like his covid predictions, being wrong by half is close enough for Jfree.

            2. It did not get this cold, for this many days in a row, in all 254 Texas counties, coupled with ice and snow. Not even close. In DFW, for example, it got to -2°F. The last time it was that cold here was 72 years ago. And that’s only the 4th time it has ever gotten below zero here since they started keeping records…123 years ago. It hit -1° once 32 years ago, but there was no snow and the temps weren’t sustained so long. Most years it never gets below the upper teens to low twenties, and that’s once or twice a year for a few hours.

              Last week we had snow on the beaches in Galveston, 300 miles south of us. And 400 miles southwest of them, in South Padre Island, 4000 cold-stunned sea turtles had to be rescued. This was a surreal winter event in Texas, unlike anything that has ever happened here.

            3. February 2011 was nothing like this, good God.

              1. And yet – there were blackouts then

                1. Get off that hill while you still can.

            4. Hey, I live in Texas. This is a black swan event. The coldest I remember is 14 degrees until last week. -5 degrees.

            5. Yeah, if it got that cold in one place in Texas for five minutes then it’s totally comparable.

      5. Until someone comes up with a price tag and what that cost increase would be to the citizens of Texas, your point is incomplete. I understand that there is going to be some cost increase. But what is the breaking point of that cost, where people decide not to do some upgrades to their equipment? We don’t know.

        I’ve been an engineer for 15 years and worked on small projects that are less than $1000 to projects that are multimillion dollars in costs. One constant in all of that is that management loves to take out stuff that they don’t think is necessary – despite what us engineers say.

        1. It goes further than management. I remember once buying a car way back when – when anti-lock brakes weren’t standard. The sales guy actually poohed-poohed the idea by saying ‘Well they’re not really important. You don’t use brakes that often’. I forget what he was trying to upgrade me to instead – probably a better sound system.

      6. Protecting a plant against extreme cold will tend to render the plant more susceptible to failure in extreme heat. Take an outdoor pump that is air-cooled. In extreme cold, it will fail. If you insulate it to keep it warm in winter, that causes it to run hotter in the summer, requiring a cooling system which can fail in the annual summer crunch and plunge people into darkness then.

      7. And if you point out the simple economic fact that requiring that kind of thing in a place that doesn’t typically get that severe winter weather you tend to get a lot of shrugging and implications that maybe Texans should be happy to pay more for their electricity, even if some people are barely making ends meet as it is.

        And now those people who were barely making ends meet are either being bankrupted by energy providers upping their bill to $10,000 a month, or they’re dead from having no power in the freezing cold. You think that’s a better trade-off?

    2. The problem with this philosophy is that you still have to pay when problems hit and when you are done you have a system that still has the same vulnerabilities. It you better plan for problems you save money, pain and you have a better system.

      1. So where do you draw the line? Should they protect the whole state against a “once every 1000 years” cold event? “Once every million years”? You have to draw the line somewhere and accept that eventually you’re going to have your power grid overwhelmed. At some point the cost of gracefully recovering from that failure is less than the cost of preventing it.

      2. It you better plan for problems you save money, pain and you have a better system.

        I wish you had better planned that sentence to read. It was a pain.

      3. Let’s say this event costs 10 billion dollars to resolve, if it turns out it would cost 20 billion to properly protect against then that isn’t saving money.

        Now if it turned out to save them 10 billion every single year then it would be totally worth it, but they don’t get this king of weather event every year (if they did their utilities would already be protected against it, same way grids in the north are)

        1. I take your point and would suggest that there might be a sweet spot to shoot for instead. You don’t need the entire grid ready for this if you can have enough protect to provide a minimum service to prevent this kind of large scale catastrophe. You don’t need to keep everyone’s house at 68 degrees, but you do need enough power to keep people houses in the 40’s to prevent pipes from freezing. So can you have a plan that will help achieve this minimum level in a rare occurrence at a reasonable price?

          1. “and would suggest that there might be a sweet spot to shoot for instead”

            So your suggestion is what everyone else suggested and you previously rejected?

            Moderation4ever
            February.22.2021 at 11:01 am
            The problem with this philosophy is that you still have to pay when problems hit and when you are done you have a system that still has the same vulnerabilities. It you better plan for problems you save money, pain and you have a better system.

            Fucking Jeeeenyus!

            1. Fucking Jeeeenyus!

              Again, the guy who can’t plan a typed sentence to convey the message ‘plan better’ suggesting that the rest of us ‘plan better’.

              1. Sorry, busy today and I am not doing enough proof reading. Some days are like that.

            2. No, other people are saying it cost to too much so accept that shit happen occasionally. I am suggesting that there is a need to do more. I agree you don’t have to have the perfect solution for everything, but you can do more to limit the damage. I am suggesting that you look for the sweet spot and that Texas is not yet there.

              1. What a bunch of specious generalities. If you can’t say what should have been done and why that satisfies some risk/reward test (prospectively, not retrospectively), you’ve said nothing.

          2. That’s a sensible post (excellent screen name!), and of course this sort of thing can be prevented or greatly mitigated, but not in an unregulated, siloed system where the only accountability is to profit. As long as there’s nothing between a customer and a 10,000% increase in their bill, they’re on their own, and that includes when their lives are at risk.

            But hey, we can both revel in all the thoughtful, fact-based replies to your post. Sigh.

          3. Not sure how you hold everyone to 40 degrees if they’ve got the thermostat in their front hallway. You’re going to need a lot of inspektors and very harsh penalties on them for trying to keep the baby or grandma warm.

          4. So can you have a plan that will help achieve this minimum level in a rare occurrence at a reasonable price?

            Yes you can. And it is not difficult. And TX specifically does NOT do that in ERCOT via what every other ISO in the country does do – which is a capacity generation market. So the system builds out some capacity that is paid NOT for generating power but simply for being built.

            That sort of market does not per se increase costs. It merely splits costs between capital/construction v operating/generation. And the capital/construction costs are actually lowered because the pricing of risk on a debt-financed item is very different than risk pricing on an equity-financed item.

            The reason that market wasn’t created by ERCOT is – I suspect – the wildcatting mentality that is pervasive in commodity/resource markets. The notion that it is far better to have price volatility than price stability. TX is probably the most extreme example of it though it exists in all commodity based areas. And since ERCOT is exclusively TX, it is easier for that mindset to form the basis for a market rather than to be negotiated/priced away as an overt risk.

            1. The only time that sort of market raises overall costs is if an overt decision is made to increase capacity SOLELY because of the capacity market. Which might occur if say there is a top-down decision that ‘all utilities must purchase sufficient power to provide say 40 degree-days of electricity per household in the winter as well as the summer’ when said decision may have previously been 20.

              What happened in TX however was merely that the electricity market chose to ignore winter rather than make a conscious decision about capacity.

        2. The costly damage was due to burst pipes. Many of them burst even in areas the power stayed on because of poor housing design. Even in areas that did loose power, they would have avoided the damage if they had winterized their home once the power went out (shut off the water valve, open all the faucets).

    3. Wait….. it sounds like you’re talking about covid lockdowns! Worse than the “given disaster”! Haha.

    4. I’d like to see equivalent cost-benefit arguments, with estimates, for Covid-19.

  3. Libertarians and Republicans should probably do that Samurai thing right about now. Those people could have turned off the water and taken a vacation for what they’re paying in electric bills. But now you want the federal govt bailout? Where’s Ken?

    1. If only they could manage power as well as California, none of this would have happened.

      1. Texas fire season is coming. Just be patient.

      2. California power company executives are installing stand-by generators at their homes. I would take that as a hint.

        1. Anyone that wants or needs uninterruptible power should.

    2. Presumably the ones asking for a federal bailout aren’t libertarians. Republicans, on the other hand, love Federal spending as much as anybody could, so it’s no surprise.

      One note, though. Everyone pays into federal disaster relief funds. It shouldn’t be a thing, but since it is, I don’t blame anyone for wanting their fair share of that funding back (for some definition of “fair share”). Just like I blame people for politically supporting Social Security and Medicare, but I don’t blame them for taking that support after decades of being forced to pay in.

      1. Oh, just the “fair share”. So they’ll get their $500 back.

            1. All of which you successfully predicted I’m sure.

    3. Libertarians are not asking for bailouts. Those would be the Trumpista Republicans who learned at the feet of Trump that spending is good.

      1. Was Obama frugal? What about Hillary? They are Chicago politicians. Spending poorly is in their DNA.

        1. Yes, but they weren’t course and crude and didn’t affront my gentry sensibilities with mean tweets.

        2. Brain dead cultist default response algorithm has been triggered: “watabout watabout watabout”

          1. No one cares about your thinking process

          2. Brain dead cultist? How does my statement make me a cultist?

            #1. I’m from Chicago, Bud. Have you been there? If Chicago was doing well, why would Obama engage in “White Flight” as soon as he was able? Because unlike you, he knows that his party has fucked that city dry.
            #2. SF, huh? And a big fan of the Democrats? Weird, I only knew one Democrat during my entire 21 year stint in SF. Everyone was centrist or to the right. You were support, weren’t ya, Cupcake?

    4. Ironically, not turning the water off is what likely ended up biting most of these people in the ass. When the power clacked off and the temperatures plummeted, the first thing they should have done was shut off the main valve.

      Get ready for a massive run on generators (which, to be blunt, a lot of these people should have had anyway, because shit happens. It’s not just extreme cold that can knock out power for hours or even days at a time.).

      1. re: not turning off the water

        Uh, maybe but probably not. It depends on where your main valve is. If your main is safely underground (that is, well below the freeze line), yes you should shut it off and protect the rest of the house. However if your main is within the zone to freeze (and in most homes, it’s in the basement and subject to cold when power fails), your best answer is to deliberately open your taps to a slow drip. This is a common tactic for winterizing homes up north when power failures are a serious risk. Moving water takes a lot longer to freeze than still. The open tap also acts as a pressure release so that the ice is less likely to burst your pipes. It won’t completely prevent damage but it minimizes it a lot.

        What you really, really don’t want is to close the main and have the pipes freeze anyway. If the freeze bursts the pipes on the “out” side of the main, you’ll have water pouring into your basement and the utility will have to cut off the entire neighborhood before your plumber can make the repair.

        1. Texas houses don’t have basements.

          1. Well, there are *some*, but it’s definitely not the norm.

            Apartment complexes also have to work out certain tactics as well, because just shutting off the main valve gets a lot more dicey when there’s a dozen families in the same building.

        2. Standard designs are for a corp stop at the main itself (typically accessed only during excavation) and s curb stop – a shutoff outside of but close to the road. A shutoff inside is also standard to facilitate meter changes, backflow prevention device repairs and whole house shutdowns.
          It depends on what the utilities could supply and the frost protection of the mains.

      2. Shut the AND drain the pipes.

        1. Yeah, I should have added that second part.

      3. I’ve lived in the lower-middle to middle-class suburbs of the Fort Worth, Texas area my entire life (54 years). If we’d have bought and maintained a generator my whole life it would have been a monumental waste of money. It would have been used maybe 4 or 5 times, for several hours or half-a-day at the most. We never lost power last week, but if we had, and for an extended period, I’d have just shut off the water, drained the pipes, and we’d have gone somewhere else for a day or two. Fortunately, I’m experienced enough to know how to deal with those sorts of things, but I can’t really fault those who aren’t.

      4. Yup. Haven’t had a hurricane strike near us in years, but it has happened before, so I have two generators. Crank them every few months, keep stabilized non-ethanol fuel on hand for them. It’s a bit of a pain, but more than worth it.

    5. Retarded statists who believe in the magical morality and efficiency of governments should seppaku first, fucktard.

    6. I thought you progs lionize bailouts.

  4. “But fundamentally the blackouts happened because across the entire system, people did not anticipate how bad things could get. It was a failure to expect the unexpected.”

    The unpredictability of the weather and the relative quickness with which energy companies need to react is hardly a new problem. The fact is that moving away from natural gas made it harder for them to react than it would have been otherwise.

    “Between the mornings of Feb. 7 and Feb. 11, wind as a share of the state’s electricity fell to 8% from 42%, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Gas-fired plants produced 43,800 MW of power Sunday night and coal plants chipped in 10,800 MW—about two to three times what they usually generate at their peak on any given winter day—after wind power had largely vanished. In other words, gas and coal plants held up in the frosty conditions far better than wind turbines did.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-spins-into-the-wind-11613605698?

    Premise One: Wind and Solar are far more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions than coal and natural gas.

    Premise Two: Joe Biden has promised to eliminate both coal and natural gas from electricity generation within 15 years.

    Conclusion: Joe Biden’s proposal will make the country far more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

    The fact is that if it weren’t for coal and natural gas, the situation in Texas would have been far, far worse than it was, and at some point over Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office, he will introduce comprehensive legislation to eliminate coal and natural gas from electricity production forever through a combination of taxes, spending, and regulation. The result of those disastrous polices will make situations like the one in Texas now (and Australia in 2016) look tame by comparison–because there won’t be any coal or natural gas to save us when wind and solar go down.

    One of the differences between stupid and smart is that stupid people can’t avoid mistakes until they experience the painful consequences. Even a maze running lab rat can learn from the painful consequences of its mistakes. Learning from your mistakes isn’t smart. That’s stupid! Smart is when you avoid painful mistakes before they happen.

    IF IF IF our energy policy doesn’t account for the fact that without coal and natural gas, markets suffering extreme weather conditions like those in Texas would be in far worse shape–and that something far worse than Texas’ experience with extreme weather is the future of the rest of the country without coal and natural gas under Biden’s proposal, too–then we have a genuinely stupid energy policy.

    Extreme weather events are by nature unpredictable, but anyone who wants us to ignore the relative vulnerability of solar and wind to extreme weather events is counting on us to be ignorant. Maybe someone here thinks we should eliminate coal and natural gas from power generation through taxes, spending, and regulation in spite of wind and solar being more vulnerable to extreme weather events. Maybe I’ll disagree with that arguments, but at least it won’t count on us to be ignorant of renewables’ relative vulnerability to extreme weather and it won’t count on us to be too stupid to know that we can avoid making a huge mistake with energy security before suffering the negative consequences.

    1. Well that murders the arguement it wasn’t renewable in its crib. Renewable provided a quarter of the power they should have and everyone else provided two to three times as much. If we’d hadn’t had subsidized and unreliable renewable energy forced on the grid, there wouldn’t have been an issue.

      1. Oh, there’s no question. The most charitable assumption about those who tell us that renewable had nothing to do with the energy crisis in Texas is that they’re indulging a noble lie. They think the world will be a better place if we adopt some version of Biden’s Green New Deal, and in support of that, they know it’s more likely to pass if we believer certain things–regardless of whether those things are true.

        The less charitable assumption is that they can write an entire screed about oil and natural gas coming to the rescue of renewables when they fail, without mentioning that oil and natural gas came to the rescue, because they’re clueless. Maybe they’re obsessed with the idea that giving both sides equal treatment is an important thing to do, for some reason, even in a situation like this, where one side is obviously to blame.

        Regardless, if it weren’t for oil and natural gas, Texas would be in far worse shape, and that’s the future of our energy security with Biden’s Green New Deal–at least the one he’s been pitching since before he came to the White House.

        1. The two best sources of future clean energy are nuclear power and natural gas, neither of which are supported by Biden, Schumer, Pelosi or the left wing media propagandists at NY Times, WaPo, LA Times, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc. (who deceitfully call themselves journalists and news reporters).

          Unfortunately, ever since the accident at Three Mile Island in 1977 (where nobody died and no cancer deaths occurred), and especially since Fukushima’s accident (caused by a tsunami) Democrats and RINOs have regulated new nuclear power plants out of existence in America (due to fear mongering lies about the hazards of nuclear power).

          And while natural gas fracking has dramatically reduced coal burning and overall carbon emissions, Joe Biden is being pressured by environmental whackos (including AOC, Pelosi and Schumer) to ban, tax, and sharply restrict natural gas fracking, pipelines, rail transport, etc.

          The only good news is that West Virginia’s Joe Manchin will defend natural gas even more aggressively than most Republican Senators.

          1. Hydroelectric is amazing.

            Chernobyl helped color folks’ opinion on nuclear. Even though reactors such as that have never been nor could ever be built in the US.

            The third gen reactors can be passively cooled through convection so a complete loss of liquid water cooling (what happened at all 3 major incidents) does not result in meltdowns or steam explosions followed by a meltdown.

            I could see China and N. Korea build new nuke plants but no western country.

            1. Even though reactors such as that have never been nor could ever be built in the US.

              When Chernobyl happened, my high school had a nuclear physicist from San Onofre come through and explain to us, in detail, exactly how stupidly Chernobyl had been built and how not only would that never be allowed in this country (he explained, again in great detail, all the things we do differently), but that no sane person would have built a reactor that way – it took callous bureaucrats looking to pinch rubles to build something that obviously unsafe.

              Of course, my 22-year-old science teacher waited until the next day when he wasn’t there anymore to tell us that he was “full of shit” and that nuclear power is sooper dangerous no matter what you do.

              1. They were cheaper to build. And easier. Local trades could be used instead of specialized workers. They didn’t need to wait for complicated components. And could use lower (non?) enriched uranium. The Soviets wanted megawatts and they wanted them now. RBMK was the fasted path to that. And yes, there was the cost savings too.
                The condition the operators took that reactor to was criminal.

              2. Positive void coefficient – so when you lose reactor coolant, instead of the reactor going subcritical. It goes supercritical…total insane for a commercial nuclear plant. But the state liked it because they didn’t need enriched uranium and they could use the waste to produce nuclear weapons…and in a communist government, the state is always right and questions aren’t allowed…

                1. And that literally nobody outside of the Iron Curtain would entertain using those plants for any reason seemed to be lost on them.

                  It’s more baffling, to me, that Chernobyl continued to run its other reactors until 2000.

          2. Ask the U.S. Navy how dangerous nuclear power is.

      2. No, Kenny-boy is simply lying.

    2. One of the differences between stupid and smart is that stupid people can’t avoid mistakes until they experience the painful consequences. Even a maze running lab rat can learn from the painful consequences of its mistakes. Learning from your mistakes isn’t smart. That’s stupid!

      Then what do you call an abject refusal to learn from one’s mistakes? I see a lot of that going around too.

      1. “Then what do you call an abject refusal to learn from one’s mistakes?”

        Voting?

      2. “Then what do you call an abject refusal to learn from one’s mistakes?”

        That’s willful stupidity.

        Trying to get other people to think that the painful consequences of our mistakes aren’t actually the result of our bad choices is typically associated with some kind of noble lie, but it should probably all be treated as willful stupidity anyway.

    3. Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades. That, plus a deregulated energy market largely isolated from the rest of the country’s power grid, left the state alone to deal with the crisis, experts said.

      https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/17/texas-power-grid-failures/

      1. A counter factual universe I’m which wise regulators foresee and solve all problems is truly the perfect reality.

      2. The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people in Texas died.
        If Texas had been using nuclear and natural gas it wouldn’t have been as much of a problem.

        1. Windmills can be equipped with heaters to keep them ice free.

          1. Which of course make no sense in Texas

        2. No, the politicians and power companies failed to maintain the windmills, like the silly greedy people they are and people in Texas died. If Texas had responsible governmental and corporate leadership and politicians, and had required proper maintenance of the windmills, it wouldn’t have been NEAR as much of a problem.

          1. People die all the time. Yes, even right now. Shit happens.

          2. No. There was some level of maintenance. And the costs for that were buried in people’s electric bills. Your position is that the level of maintenance (and the bills for it) should have been higher.
            But other’s here have pointed out that you can never be 100% safe — at least not without an infinite investment (and likely not then). You have to draw the line somewhere.
            There is some chance (admittedly, very small) that you could die from an infected ingrown toenail. We can absolutely avoid *that* risk, by cutting your feet off. Most people would think that too high a price.

      3. “Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies individuals, many of which opted against the costly upgrades personal responsibility.”

        1. Exactly, Republicans are useless. You might as well elect a tree to the office.

          1. Trees are far wiser. And do less damage

            1. A lot of bark. But less bite.

          2. Politicians are useless. You might as well elect a tree to the office. FTFY.

      4. Well, that’s one theory–another theory is that the utilities got fucked thanks to the switch from natural gas-powered generators to electric ones. Natural gas doesn’t even liquify until -260 degrees, so having those generators operated by a freeze-resistant fuel source already in the pipe could have kept more of the grid operational. Instead, the desire to “go green” pushed the failure points back to the origin of generation.

        1. Valves get wet and freeze.

          1. Windmills Valves can be equipped with heaters to keep them ice free”

        2. Well, that’s one theory–another theory is that the utilities got fucked thanks to the switch from natural gas-powered generators to electric ones.

          Huh? There are electric-powered generators???

          1. I think he’s confused.
            If I understood the article correctly, one problem was that natural gas was diverted from electric power generation to home heating.
            So the gas burner in your furnace would have worked just fine.
            But there was no electricity to run the fan to blow the warm air through your heating ducts.
            (Which — I believe — will cause the burner to shut off before it melts itself.)

            1. I’ll say. I thought generators produced electricity.

              Nevertheless, you are correct. The people in charge of the electrical grid in Texas should have aimed to increase the supply of fuel for both HVAC and electricity production.

      5. “Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies”

        Can anybody explain to me the significance of this statement.

        Were there other Texas official who didn’t know winter storms could lave the power grid vulnerable?

        Would the government forcing private power companies to spend on upgrades have made wind less vulnerable to extreme weather?

        What is the point being made here?

        1. I get that he’s arguing that central planning would have been smarter than private enterprise, but is he saying that if the government had forced the power companies to put out even more wind turbines, then the coal and natural gas plants wouldn’t have needed to be fired up again?

          Wouldn’t even more wind turbines have failed the same as the ones that are already in place?

          Is he saying that the private power companies would have had more natural gas and coal plants in place and ready to go if only the government had forced more coal and natural gas plants to stay open?

          Or is what he’s saying just stupid?

      6. These kinds of winter conditions are rare in Texas. Power companies in CA aren’t going to take out every power line in windy areas and the state won’t clear out dry brushes or stop housing in fire zones even though everyone know how large scale fires start in the state. Some of the owes to ideology, but a lot of it has to do with money. Any cost of upgrade or overhaul in energy infrastructure will be passed down to consumers.

        Hindsight is 20/20.

        1. The reason the state of California hasn’t taken the power company over instead of bailing them out is because they know the situation they’ve created for the power company is impossible.

    4. The reality is that “moving away from natural gas” isn’t a thing that happened.

  5. “It was a failure to expect the unexpected.”

    So it was a failure to do the impossible.

    It is impossible to expect the unexpected, because the unexpected is by definition, unexpected.

    1. The Republicans were too busy micromanaging pledges of allegiance at basketball games so obviously we need to blame the Mavericks for distracting our public servants.

      1. The assholes, completely ignoring their crystal ball predictions.

      2. Don’t mistake criticism of regulation for support of Republicans.

        1. There are regulations that make things more efficient, safer and better. It’s not an all or nothing situation.

          1. That’s right you losers. I’m pushing for regulations on a libertarian board. And yes, I’m aware of the irony.

            1. it’s not ironic it’s just what happened

          2. Name just one

          3. Get a load of this dumb faggot, suck that government dick more retard.

          4. None that have been written in the last 60 years

          5. What regulations are you referring to?

      3. We could have the best of all possible worlds and have both more oil/natural gas/nuclear energy and no legislation on social issues. How about them forbidden apples?

      4. “HOW DARE REPUBLICANS NOT SEE SOMETHING COMING THAT…NOBODY ELSE SAW COMING!!”

        We should have CA’s leadership on this issue nationally. Their energy grid is rock fucking solid.

  6. I am digging a trench to my garage this summer. This will allow me to run 220 Volts to my garage and allow a quick backup generator connection. It will also allow me the option to have an electric car. I have lost power for multiple days in the last few years. I will probably get a bigger generator, too.

    1. Wait, you can do that?

    2. This will allow me to run 220 Volts to my garage and allow a quick backup generator connection. It will also allow me the option to have an electric car.

      ROFLMAO! *grabs sides*

      So when the power goes out, you’ll still be able to power your car!

      LOL! It hurts! STOP!

      1. Yup. Just run the gas, diesel, LP or natural gas fueled generator to create electricity to charge the electric car batteries. Now only if someone would make a car that ran directly on gasoline, it would be immune to times when power is lost.

        1. What about the electric pumps at the gas station?

          1. “IceTrey
            February.22.2021 at 2:18 pm
            Windmills can be equipped with heaters to keep them ice free.”

            Yeah. No idea what to do about the pumps.

          2. Some have their own gensets so the pumps work.

            And if you care about having a vehicle operational during grid outages if the local filling station chooses against backup power for their pumps, you can store liquid fuel on your own.

            1. Some have their own gensets so the pumps work.

              After Irma and Sandy, for large franchises in several states, they’re required by law.

              Not to mention that, in a SHTF situation, it’s not impossible or even really infeasible to pump gas out of underground storage by hand. If a supply truck happens to be sitting there, gravity can take care of the mechanical distribution.

    3. You sound like an idiot.

    4. Could your electric car also carry at least a mini gas generator in case you don’t have access to a charging station?

  7. My take from all this is a real failure of the local and national infrastructure. I read about water problems in Memphis, TN because the cold temperatures were interfering with water delivery and that parts of the water delivery system are over 100 years old.

    We need to start talking about real upgrades to our infrastructure. That means getting budget passed and paying for with taxes. The fact is this mess in Texas will cost of money as will the next disaster from infrastructure failures.

    1. Biden is on it. After Covid relief he’s doing infrastructure. You know what the Republicans in Texas were doing the week before the storm? Those fucking clowns were introducing legislation to force basketball teams to play the National Anthem. Texas apparently had a terrible cold weather experience ten years ago and there all sorts of ways to address but Republicans and the industry lobbyists killed every bill.

      1. “You know what the Republicans in Texas were doing the week before the storm?”

        Republicans control the weather!

        1. Imagine not anticipating a once-in-a-century freak weather event, and doing normal shit instead.
          Also, like Katrina, isn’t this all supposed to be the president’s fault, or does that only apply when it’s Democratic states and Republican Presidents.

          1. Katrina was especially terrible because the levees broke after the storm passed. It was more of man made incompetence than the hurricanes.

            1. Incompetence in New Orleans? It must be the President’s fault.
              If only Bush had inspected the Levees before the hurricane hit.

            2. Iirc the ACoE designed the flood control measures for a Cat 3 hurricane.

              Building below flood levels is grossly irresponsible. Water seeks its own level. It did then. And it will again.

              1. Anyone building around round bodies of water either needs to build on concrete and steel stilts or needs to have futuristic buildings with “the red button” like on Looney Tunes.

          2. Your assertion that this is a “once in a century” event is without factual basis.

        2. Republicans are useless.

          1. I’ve got nothing so let me chant my mantra.

          2. Yeah, just look at all the tremendous successes in Democrat run places like Chicago, D.C, Baltimore, Detroit, St Louis, Ferguson, Trenton, Minneapolis, Atlanta, and the entire state of California!
            I live near a red city. There were no riots, no looting, no increased crime, no graffiti, not a single bit of damage. The Cops gassed BLM and their flunkies within 2 hours of them assembling, then legally armed citizens showed them the way out of town.
            I am seeing this from a much different viewpoint. Republicans don’t promote burning and looting the businesses of innocent taxpayers.

            1. “I live near a red city”

              No such thing, unless you mean something like Jacksonville or smaller. Which hardly counts as a “city”. More of a town.

              1. I realize you’re fucking stupid but Jacksonvile is the largest city in the US.

                1. “Jacksonville is the most populous city in Florida, and is the largest city by area in the contiguous United States as of 2020”

                  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacksonville,_Florida

              2. You don’t get out much, do you Stolen Valor? The town has four major military installations and one of the Air Force Academy. The population is larger than Minneapolis, but has less than half the murders. You consider Minneapolis a city, right Cupcake? The growth in this town is explosive.
                I’ll give you a hint. There are real Special Forces soldiers there. The 10th. Oh, never mind, you have no idea what the 10th is.

                1. The 10th is pleading the 5th twice. Which is what he is doing.

                2. The growth in this town is explosive.

                  Too bad it’s mostly coming from neo-yuppie shitheads from Denver who can’t afford DAT BIG CITY life anymore, and now can’t afford to buy homes because real estate skyrocketed 200% in 10 years.

          3. A little tribal, are we?

      2. Look at this retard suckling on the teet of that glorious government, what a pathetic piece of shit.

      3. Drill, baby, drill! Refine, baby, refine! Split atoms, baby, split aatoms! AND leave The National Anthem to the arena owners. See how that works?

    2. Why do we need to talk about upgrading infrastructure? Why can’t Memphis residents be responsible for fixing their own water pipes and Texans be responsible for fixing their own grid? Why does the Federal government have a role in any of this?

      1. Why does the Federal government have a role in any of this?

        Because states themselves DO find the need to cooperate and No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,… enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power,.

        Course the interstate compact clause does not require federal funding (though it doesn’t prohibit it – and funding (meaning distribution of currency) would be completely in line with federal responsibility over currency). The interstate compact clause almost certainly eliminates most federal mandates and all executive branch control in restoring decentralized governance to those areas where states still have primary but not forceably exclusive responsibility.

        I think understanding this clause would be a great way to decentralize and hugely reduce fed govt. But apparently not understanding it makes for better politics

        1. Because states themselves DO find the need to cooperate and No State shall, without the Consent of Congress,… enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power,.

          Except Texas already manages its own proprietary grid. Yeah, it sucked for them when the grid went down, but one of the benefits of federalism is that other states don’t necessarily have to be affected by the actions of others.

          Considering how interconnected most of the nation’s power structure is, and its vulnerability to cyber grey zone attacks, putting together an even more consolidated national grid is probably something we need to try and avoid.

          1. Most interstate compacts are not ‘national’. They are regional – eg Port Authority of NY and NJ. That allows for ongoing management by the states themselves so there is only the one-time legislation by critters who aren’t from that region.

            To the degree they are ‘national’, they tend to have very narrow scope for that particular issue. eg there was (still technically is) an ‘education’ compact that addressed legitimate issues states had like ‘what is seventh grade for those kids whose parents are relocating from state to state’. That led mostly to sharing info about curriculum. It was actually Reagan who gutted that compact – expanding responsibility for a ‘statistics gathering’ function that had been around since the 1860’s and glommed into the Dept of Education – for the one piece that was beginning to talk about ‘testing’. Some of Reagan’s folks wanted that privatized (now called ETS) via the feds rather than turned into ‘education union’ stuff by different states. But that was a good example of EXECUTIVE branch expansion of a federal department.

            1. And I’m saying that we should not look to further consolidate those grids due to the vulnerability such centralization could bring.

              Furthermore, educational policy has fuck-all to do with energy delivery and management.

              1. In both cases, they require some form of interstate structure.

                Even you morons can understand an interstate compact to deal with electricity issues when it is an editorial on breitbart.

                But obviously very little actually registers inside the bird brains. So it must be a commie idea.

                1. I love how you deliberately miss the point in order to get your prissy, arch sense of outrage going.

          2. Other states are affected, whether they want to be or not. The entire country is now paying higher fuel prices because Texas was too cheap to take proper care of its infrastructure. They love to suck up the money selling and processing the oil, but won’t take the responsibility that goes along with it.
            Texas just gave a great demonstration of the fact that we are overly dependent on fossil fuels, and need to diversify both our energy sources and the means of distributing it.

            1. Yea, maybe short term. Not long term though.

            2. Well, Hell I think they should try drilling in the Appalachians if they can find petroleum and Uranium. I gave my blessing to my landlord to do that if he wanted. Like everyone else, he scoffed at the idea.

          3. Question is: Will Texans be begging the rest of the U.S. taxpayers for “gimmes” after this? Will we all end up subsidizing crap behavior as usually happens after scenarios like this?

      2. Because we are the United States, not fifty disconnected islands. Because MOST Americans are decent people who care about something besides themselves.
        Hope you never need any help at any point in your life.

    3. We are still spending billions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why? Wasn’t an Obama/Biden campaign promise in 2008 and 2012 to get out of there? We are still there. We are paying for Afghan infrastructure that they don’t even want. I wasn’t horrified by the war when I was in Afghanistan. I was horrified by the outrageous theft of taxpayer dollars. Clearly, Biden wants to keep that money train rolling for his friends with defense companies.

      1. The intelligence agencies want to keep it going, too. That’s why they came out with that bullshit “bounty” story that gave Liz Cheney and Jason Crow the media cover they needed to deny funding to pull the troops out of there last year.

        1. I still can’t believe that Crow wants us in Afghanistan. The man served in combat, in a Ranger Battalion. He is selling out his own brothers.
          After 3 trips to that dump, I still have not met a single serving soldier that thinks we should still be there. Not one.

          1. Crow doesn’t have to give a crap because the neoliberal, childless gays in Stapleton and the colossal immigrant population in north Aurora will vote for a Democrat regardless.

            Look at that shithead Dave Perry, who runs Aurora’s local fishwrap, and how his editorial positions change based on whatever party line the DNC spews. Or the radical left members of Aurora’s city council, who turned the running of the city into a puerile, dysfunctional mess. And then they wonder why white families and minority families with means do everything in their power not to send their kids to Aurora Public Schools, which is on the same level of crap as DPS and the northwest Adams County districts.

  8. Nuclear power kept running.

    1. No it didn’t. One of the plants had to be shut down because of a safety sensor.

      1. The sensor was changed out and power resumed.

        1. Did it scram, shutdown then restart? Textbook says that takes 3 days (to remove the Xenon poisoning).

          1. Yes, it took the 3 days. A failure as far as an emergency condition goes.

  9. In other news, the pandemic made physical inspections of the power plants a low priority. Too many reports of it just not being done.

  10. and while neighboring states also had to resort to rolling blackouts, they did not do so on nearly the same scale.

    The scale to which they had to implement rolling blackouts is irrelevant. The fact that they did so at all means that they lacked sufficient generation/distribution capacity to meet their own demand, let alone share excess with TX had TX been connected to the same grid(s) the former are. It’s also a clear indication that other states didn’t have enough excess capacity to cover for the other rolling black out states, let alone cover for TX as well.

    The grid argument is a braindead one.

    1. The fact that they did so at all means that they lacked sufficient generation/distribution capacity to meet their own demand, let alone share excess with TX had TX been connected to the same grid(s) the former are.

      Not true. The only two grids that imposed rolling blackouts are ERCOT (entirely Texas) and SPP (includes Texas panhandle and west Texas – and stretches up to Dakotas). Anything else was entirely local. eg Tuscaloosa lost power to 2000 customers on one day; Kentucky lost power to 22,000 on one day.

      1. The only part of Texas that is not on either of the above two grids is El Paso area. Connected to WECC. They didn’t have rolling blackouts. They DID winterize after the 2011 blackouts in response to the FERC recommendation because they are part of an interstate grid. And they bought surplus electricity.

      2. What part of “and while neighboring states also had to resort to rolling blackouts” did you not understand?

        https://weather.com/news/news/2021-02-16-winter-storm-uri-impacts-power-outages-boil-water

        “Rolling blackouts were reported in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and New Mexico. They affected tens of thousands of customers at a time.”

        1. Those other states are SPP

  11. It’s everyone’s fault.

  12. Wait. The democrats won. Why didn’t global climate warming change prevent this?

  13. This is just proof that Texas could move to 100% renewables with no downside.

    1. Not only because the renewables would prevent global warming but also because global warming will prevent snowfalls and excessive cold temps in TX.

      The important thing to remember is that when the AGW God smites hundreds of thousands of people for no discernable reason, we not question AGW God’s unfathomable motives.

  14. While it isn’t possible to completely prepare for every possible disaster, all disasters, whether natural or man-made, do have commonalities for which one can rationally prepare.

    On an individual level, we know that humans can only live 3roughly 30 days without food, 3 days without water, 3 hours without shelter from the elements, and 3 minutes without Oxygen. Therefore, we know that all disaster scenarios require securing a safe and sure supply of Oxygen, water, shelter, heat, food, and all tools and skills necessary to secure those. Individuals should keep a supply of these at all times and any government policies that prevent the securing of these e.g. taxation, nationalization, collectivization, licensing, wage and price controls, prohibition, gun control, etc. are all anathema to human survival.

    In the case of the power supply, the disaster commonalities to address are capital (physical plants, connecting infrastructure, raw materials for fuel,) labor, and management structure.

    There doesn’t yet appear to be a labor shortage (workers from other States and localities are hired all the time to deal with outages and make very good money for doing so, sometimes double-time-and-a-half.) This leaves capital and management structure.

    The capital problem could be addressed in part by increasing fuel supply so that Texans wouldn’t have to choose between natural gas in Summer vs. natural gas in Winter. This means stop the closing of the Keystone Pipline, stop the lockdown on fracking, stop all the special taxes on fuel, and, for the long haul, diversify the fuel supply to nuclear.

    A more plentiful, cheaper fuel supply means that utility firms will have more resources to make necessary preparations to protect physical plants and infrastructure from weather extremes and other disaster disruptions.

    The capital problem could also be addressed by having a power infrastructure that is modular i.e. capable of working either independently or interconnected with others. I know Texans are proud and like to think they are the only State that can quit anytime they want to, but Texans also like things big and big brains are the best option for emergencies.

    Finally, there is the Management structure. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas is the main body here. They need to do all it takes to secure fuel supply and physical plants and labor supply as well as increase diversification and competition of power sources and get out of the way when policies are a barrier to these ends.

    Then finally, there is Sleepy, Creepy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn Pop, Lunch-Bucket, Shotgun Joe. He needs to take his constitutional, meds, and nap and let the White House Staff quietly lift his Green New Deal policies off the back of the United States in general and Texas in particular.

    1. Correction: It’s Sleepy, Creepy, Crazy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn Pop, Lunch-Bucket, Shotgun Joe. Bear with me, please. I’ll try to get it right. 🙂

      1. It’s not like Sleepy, Creepy, Crazy, Cranky, Tankie, Corn Pop, Lunch-Bucket, Shotgun Joe” is the one making those decisions. Turning the reins over to Harris would be worse.

        1. He does make the Ex3cutive Orders, though. As for Harris, we’ll distract her with a bottomless Chippendale’s Gift Card, so she take the D for the duration of the Administration. Perhaps an added expense, but worth it to head off even worse added disaster.

      2. Fuck off SQRLSY.

        1. Now that’s a first. I’ve never been accused of being a sock. Well, if you are a bot, the programming is ‘way off. Tell you programmer to learn to code, tighten up, and do better.

  15. A few years back I worked as a consultant helping the risk group of an electric company get ready to sell electricity to the state of Texas. This was not long after it deregulated. For the electric companies it all boils down to risk.
    They look at historic weather patterns, population density, and all kinds of other things to plan out capacity. They set their risk to this and their generation capabilities to this along with some float in capacity.
    Than along comes a black swan event and causes all kinds of problems. Now, after it, they will look and see if they need change their risk profile, if they need to update things at their plants etc.
    But, it just isn’t the electric companies. It is everybody in the path.
    The biggest change my money will be on is that the amount of generating capacity statewide that can be down for maintenance and such will be set lower. This will allow more float to cover rare events. Will it be enough for the next one – who knows. Impossible to for see.

    1. Interesting analysis. Your comment on the plant maintenance struck me as on the money. I too was thinking about that as mentioned in the article. It make sense to take plants down in winter because peak demand is during summer AC season. Might have to adjust that schedule so there is more capacity during heating season.

    2. When life gives you a Black Swan, make fois gras, pillows, and a switched-up Thanksgiving dinner.

  16. Just follow the data, this is 100% due to the over reliance on wind. But why let the facts get in the way of shilling for ‘green’ energy.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/cascend-data-shows-wind-power-was-chief-culprit-texas-grid-collapse

    1. And yet places with windmills far further north here and around the world have no issues with cold weather.

      Almost as if you need to invest in equipment for it to work right.

      TLDR- you’re an idiot.

      1. Do windmills in other places that share the same climatic zone as Texas, have built in heating?
        (hint: no)

        Can you think of a reason for that?

      2. That’s because windmills in known bad weather areas are designed to handle it. They have heaters that keep them ice free. Now who is the idoit?

      3. What the fuck does that have to do with anything!? Who cares about windmills in Canada. These failed, that is all that matters. Good deflection, next time actually look at the data and try to stay on topic.

        1. “Who cares if windmills in far worse conditions worked? I’m going to draw the conclusion that I want to, facts be damned! And my chosen conclusion is that this is all AOC’s fault!”

          1. “Fuck actually ENGINEERING things to the task let’s stupidly build shit that doesn’t actually work like I’m lying about, and pretend they don’t freeze even when they do despite being built not to!!!”

          2. DoL is one of my favorite fuckups. His combination of ignorance and arrogance does all the heavy lifting.

            Hey, dumbfuck, this is Texas, it has high humidity. We had 5 days of freezing rain, with a few inches of snow. Like propellers and airplane wings, windmill blades can’t generate lift (i.e., they don’t turn) when they are coated in even a thin layer of ice. At 30 below, there is no humidity, so the blades turn just fine.

            Waylon Jennings made it the next stop on the tour by staying on the cold bus. DoL would have hopped in the plane with Buddy and Ritchie.

      4. “And yet places with windmills far further north here and around the world have no issues with cold weather.”

        Cite?

      5. And yet places with windmills far further north here and around the world have no issues with cold weather.

        ‘Frozen’ in the case of windmills does not mean ‘so cold that the mechanism is seized’. Frozen means ‘coated with a a layer of ice that prevents aerodynamic lift’. As in ‘the same reason all the airports were shut down’.

        Texas is humid. We had 5 days of freezing rain. North Dakota is not humid.

        Exactly who is the idiot in this scenario?

        dingleberrydinners is the idiot, just in case he is too idiotic to reason that out.

    2. I’ll have to read on that further. But whether the wind power held up in Texas or not, any energy source like wind or solar that depends on the climate by definition can’t possibly be sustainable or universal in the midst of climate change.

  17. Nothing says cruel and unusual punishment better than being threatened by ‘federal’ government guns to shut down gas and coal power by 2035 in the mist of power outages…

    If it’s not backed-up with the threats of Gov-Guns; it must not be real science.

    Democrats are utterly in love with using guns to threaten the people. They love it so much they’ve deluded themselves into thinking it’s just “good policy”.

  18. goddam global warming.

    >>and had trouble buying it on the open market.

    “somebody turned off grandma’s juice” as opposed to “we literally ran out of electricity”

  19. Texan here that lost power. Everything failed. Everything.

    Wind was only capable of generating about 50% of its capacity. NG about 60%. Hell, a nuke even went down because a safety sensor froze.

    You’re correct to say that this shouldn’t be blamed on wind. How do you blame any one thing when everything puked out? But to act as if wind did what was expected when nothing was expected of it is a little disingenuous.

  20. I think there’s a typo in the sentance “…with the understanding that in the winter we will usually have far more electric capacity that we need”

    I think it should be “more electric capacity THAN we need”

    1. >>typo in the sentance

      word.

  21. I remember being in Anchorage a few years ago when temperatures were in the 90s for the first time in decades . The big box stores all had signs up saying, “Air conditioners are on the way!!!”. Why didn’t those dumb Alaskans already have a/c?

  22. Texans sadly chose this system and it failed. They refused to integrate to the other 2 grids in any nominal capacity and refused to winterize their equipment despite the same thing happening in 89 and 2011.

    One would hope they get their heads on straight now. The left’s argument that it was deregulation rings more true than the hogwash of “windmills” and whatever other solid line of crap that Republicans are harping on today.

    1. Don’t disagree with your overall point, but the windmill stuff isn’t hogwash. Wind failed badly. Proportionally worse than gas, although gas was more material to the high level issue.

      1. Wind power is a political fashion accessory that lets politicians pretend that there are viable alternatives to fossil fuels and nuclear and that they’re doing something.

        1. Wind power is a viable and increasingly effective method of producing power, that is being adopted worldwide, including in multiple locations in the United States.
          There are viable alternatives to fossil and nuclear fuels, and we are neglecting them at our expense and peril.

          1. I (NOT a [WE] subject) didn’t “neglect” them — I spent $2000 for a system that gets me $0.10/day… Only 55-years to go until it actually earns it’s keep and breaks even. Whoops, nope; spend another $300 on repairs just last year.

            Only Gov-Gun threats can monopolizing STUPID…..
            Believe what you want, do what you want but the second you have to point GUNS at people you become the filth of society and belong in PRISON.

            “Sell your individual souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t own YOU; [WE] own you……..”, spouts every arrogant tyrannical authoritarian Democrat.

            1. *Gov-Guns (i.e. Government Policy enforced by the threat of guns).

          2. Wind is a joke that lacks any semblance of consistency needed for a core need for life like power.

    2. Winterize that equipment Biden has just E.O. ‘d to have permanently abandoned by 2035?? What for? So lefty-imbeciles can push their ignorance boundaries surrounding the –lack of performance– of windmill and solar?

      Heck if TX could spend even 1/10th of the Windmill and Solar Subsidies on other equipment; it would already be “winterized”.

      1. Heck if TX could spend even 1/10th of the Windmill and Solar Subsidies on other equipment; it would already be “winterized”.

        Spend hell! Gas and diesel are charged at $0.20/gal. and NG is $.20 and that’s before federal taxes are levied. Cut spending on windmills by 1/10th and offer 10% discounts to fuel distributors who contribute to winterizing the grid.

    3. No you’re just stuck in retarded blue team vs red team idiot mentality, as usual.

    4. >>The left’s argument … rings more true

      said no person ever

    5. If only you and all your wisdom where there to tell them how to do it right.

    6. “despite the same thing happening in 89 and 2011.”

      This is a lie.

    7. Texans sadly chose this system and it failed.

      Yeah, they chose to switch from gas-powered generators to “green” electric ones, and it fucked them at the origin point. Lesson learned, don’t listen to greenies.

      1. No. They chose to have a competitive system instead of reliable one, and they lost when the cost cutting prevented any cold weather precautions from being implemented.
        Norway gets a substantial amount of their power from wind turbines twelve months a year, and it is as cold or colder than Texas was last week for months at a time.
        Lesson learned, listen to the greenies, and put people and preparation ahead of money.

        1. They chose to have a competitive system instead of reliable one, and they lost when the cost cutting prevented any cold weather precautions from being implemented.

          You realize how often it gets that cold in Texas, right? This is literally the first time this has happened since the development of the modern energy grid.

          Norway gets a substantial amount of their power from wind turbines twelve months a year, and it is as cold or colder than Texas was last week for months at a time.

          The turbines in Texas got ice all over the blades from the freezing rain, so they couldn’t turn. It’s the same principle as aircraft wings. Are you sure you’re okay with toxic chemical de-icer being sprayed all over the blades across the entire Texas plains?

          Lesson learned, listen to the greenies, and put people and preparation ahead of money.

          Lesson learned, don’t listen to the greenies, because they think a 100-year event is commonplace.

          1. “The turbines in Texas got ice all over the blades from the freezing rain, so they couldn’t turn. It’s the same principle as aircraft wings. Are you sure you’re okay with toxic chemical de-icer being sprayed all over the blades across the entire Texas plains?”

            If we also have to use considerable fossil fuels (gas for the choppers) to fix the known flaws of “Green” energy…why have green energy?

        2. And let’s not forget that a week before the storm hit, Texas asked the DoE for a waiver to ramp up power production in anticipation of the storm hitting, and the DoE told them to get fucked.

        3. Why is a competitive system not reliable? I would think the more power g3nerators are on the market, the more resilient and reliable a system is.

      2. Again, what is an “electric-powered generator?” A generator produces electricity, it isn’t powered by it.

  23. I skimmed the article; no mention of the potential benefits of nuclear power. When did libertarians stop being futurists? Was it right around the time big tech started cancelling conservatives? Silicon Valley is filled with pussies; we need guys like Kirk Sorenson.

    Somehow I doubt Texas is cold enough to freeze out radioactive decay heat.

    1. See my biggest main post above. I am 100% pro-nuke power.

  24. “The central fact about the chain of events that led to the blackouts is deceptively simple: It got super cold.”

    It was colder in Wyoming. Where is the article about Wyoming?

    1. Dog bites dog trainer hand is not newsworthy. Wyoming is expected to be cold. This is a man bites dog story.

  25. I still have not seen an article yet that addresses what we actually experienced here in Texas. My power was not unavailable due to any circuit failure. It was shut off at the order of unelected bureaucrats. They based who they shut off on ‘critical infrastructure’ which ended up being a shitload of completely empty businesses because the roads were impassable. People could see city skylines full of empty buildings and parking garages all lit up while they froze their asses off and waited for their pipes to burst. Where the people actually were was not considered critical.

    Being ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’ has become a theme in America.

  26. yes, wind was more responsible than any other power source, despite being proportionately smaller

    to understand why, look at the actual production by source over that time period — wind production fell off by as much as 93% as the chill set in

    thermal capacity took large hits as well but nearly all production online during the crisis was thermal

    Texas has now responded by…building more wind and solar

    it’s all a little too #ReasonPitches

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/02/20/the-texas-energy-disaster/

    1. wind’s unreliability is even worse that the numbers show though

      grids often do not react well to these large fluctuations, there are cascade effects — when the wind production collapsed, the frequency briefly shifted slightly and knocked a lot of thermal capacity offline, which in turn caused gas pipelines to lose pressure as their compressors shut down

      don’t blow on a house of cards

  27. Really lame analysis – FAIL.

    The Texas system lacked the spare capacity to meet the worst case – fact. So fix it.

    1. So, what is the worst case? What if Texas could produce a gazzilion super mega watts? Is that enough for the worst case? There are events that cannot be avoided. Shit happens. I mean, even if a 1000 people died, that is a very small % of the population.

      1. 1000 people dying in Red China or India may be a rounding error, but in a First World Nation with enough petroleum and Uranium to last indefinitely, this is without excuse.

  28. There’s an awful lot of motivated reasoning on this thread. The bottom line cause of the problems appears to be inadequate winterization, which is regulation-related. Renewables were not winterized, fossil fuel production and electric generation weren’t winterized, and nuclear wasn’t winterized.

    Winterization costs money and protects against what, in Texas, are rare events. Of course they’re rare events in Oklahoma too, but Oklahoma is part of a larger grid, apparently with better winterization requirements, and experienced outages on a far smaller scale while experiencing similar conditions.

    What I haven’t seen reported are comparative energy costs. How much does winterization actually cost in terms of what consumers pay? I suspect not much. I also suspect that customers in Texas weren’t able to select for more reliable sources of grid power (except for home generators), so that this also represents a market failure.

    1. The electrical generation sources most subject to problems in winter have been heavily subsidized for 2 decades while Democrats have declared a ‘war on coal’.

      How is that a market failure? The market provided more of what was demanded.

  29. This analysis will probably offend some people, but it’s really hard to be quiet

    On Feb 12, before the killer storm hit, Acting Energy Secretary David Huizenga denied Texas Governor Abbott’s request for emergency measures to allow for maximum energy output in Texas. Instead, Huizenga ordered ERCOT to comply with environmental green energy standards, while knowing full well Texans could freeze to death in their homes with zero electricity as temperatures plunged into single digits.

    Further, the DOE order specified that an “incremental amount of restricted capacity” to be sold to ERCOT at “a price no lower than $1,500/MWh.” By comparison, the price last year was only $18.20.

    Read that again. A government mandated price increase of 6000%!

    There must be more to the story. Please help me understand the other side, because I can only conclude that millions of people have suffered and dozens have died because the Biden administration found their “green energy” agenda to be more important than human lives.

    PS – I wish that Texas had simply refused to comply with Commissar Huizenga’s diktat.

    PPS – It seems that Huizenga relented a few days later (presumably because of backlash?), but much of the damage had already been done.

    1. What is the publication you are citing? This is interesting.

  30. The author asserts, “But fundamentally the blackouts happened because across the entire system, people did not anticipate how bad things could get. It was a failure to expect the unexpected.” Actually, we had a foretaste in 2011 (remember the Superbowl) and earlier in 1989. After 2011, the legislature and ERCOT assured all that we were prepared for winter “events.” Power providers knew this could happen. They chose not to spend the money to winterize. ERCOT has no audit or enforcement authority. I have lived in Texas for 25 years but lived my first 45 years in Michigan and Illinois. This need not to have happened but will happen again unless winterization is mandated and audited and providers are permitted to recover the capital costs of doing so.

    1. Explain how windmills can be winterized against the heavy freezing rain we had across the state on the 12th – 14th.

  31. Wasn’t it only within the last 15 to 20 years or so when the left wing scumbags were all claiming that snow and ice were going to permanently disappear from most of our lives by now?

    Ah well, being one of those assholes means never admitting that you were wrong about anything.

  32. No, this was not “failing to expect the unexpected.” It was “being warned a decade ago that this could happen and being too cheap and irresponsible to do anything about it.
    There was a detailed report written and released after a less severe incident of this type that occurred in 2011. Texas had ten years to do nothing, but the “leadership” there failed to lead, and instead let the system languish to keep electricity cheap. NOw the entire country will suffer in order to bail Texas out, when in fact they should pay for it all themselves.

    1. This was already addressed above, you doofus.

  33. NO, this was NOT “failing to expect the unexpected.” It was “Failing to heed warnings from a decade ago that this could happen.”

    There was a report written and widely circulated after a similar but much less significant occurrence in 2011, that clearly stated that the Texas power grid was vulnerable, especially to cold, and not prepared for unusual conditions. Instead of taking leadership and doing something about it, the Texas politicians let the system languish to keep electricity cheap, and themselves in power. Now, people have died, homes and businesses are destroyed, and the Texas economy has lost many millions of dollars–with much more to come. This was and is political governmental leadership malfeasance of the highest order, from several governor’s offices and the Texas legislature.

  34. According to US Census Table B25040, approx 61% of Texas households heat with electricity and 35% heat with natural gas. But as we know, most of the electricity is generated by burning natural gas.

    So when there was a gas shortage due to freezing infrastructure, ERCOT managed the shortfall by cutting electrical supplies via rolling electrical blackout.

    What they should have done was prioritize gas delivery to electrical generation, cut gas delivery to any industry or usage that was not life-sustaining, and then if further cuts were needed, implement rolling “gas blackouts.”

    Why rolling gas blackouts instead of rolling electrical blackouts? First, because a home with gas but without electricity is not going to get heat because there is no power to run air handler blowers, hydronic circulating pumps, or the intake/exhaust blowers needed for combustion in modern condensing furnaces. If there is no electricity the safety systems won’t let the furnace or boiler fire up. Second, because in Texas there is widespread use of heat pumps, and heat pumps must have supplemental resistance heaters that kick in when the outside temps are too cold–the heat pump can’t find enough heat from the outside to bring into the home. Electrical resistance heating is shockingly inefficient as a home heating method, which explains why electrical demand during sub-zero temps eclipsed peak summer demand levels.

    1. Why have any “rolling blackouts” of either natural gas or electricity in a State capable of producing both by the shit-load, in a nation equally capable of producing a shit-load?

      Presumably, natural gas customers already pay for gas infrastructure as part of their gas bill. So why not fix the freezing infrastructure?

      1. As well-posted throughout the article and comments, the decision to not winterize to the level needed to withstand this most recent weather was a risk v. cost kind of thing. Up until now, the risk apparently was not worth the cost, and I’m sure that decision will be reviewed and re-evaluated, and might change.

        I was just curious about why electrical demand during a cold snap would exceed peak summer demand, and did a little digging. Having been stationed at Ft. Hood in Central Texas in the late ’80s, my research reminded me of several incidents: the outdoor mounted water softener water pipes freezing, then bursting, while I was away for 2 weeks and the astronomical water bill that followed the next month; driving into Killeen that first night in late December 1989 to roads covered in 1/2″ glare ice and spun out pickup trucks all over the place, and my winter electric bill sometimes being higher than the summer bill when the heat pump supplemental heaters kicked in.

        1. Did any of the regulatory jerk-offs who made the call to not winterize and to implement rolling blackouts actually have to live with the consequences?

  35. Dear Josiah, with all kindness, can you please edit this article to clarify that you are referring to power plants using natural gas, not gas plants? Power generation plants and gas plants are not the same thing. Most politicians and journalists seem to make this same mistake and is unfairly causing confusion amongst the public and slightly offensive to anyone who works in midstream 😉 Gas plants are plants that process and refine natural gas from the field before it goes to the hub for purchase by power plants, plastics companies, Atmos, etc.

  36. Forecasting the future HAS NO EXPERTS. Such forecasts have and will NEVER predict the extremes of weather and temperature. Occasionally, some “expert” will make an outlandish forecast that comes close, but that is PURE LUCK!

    However, the demand of the dependent, who never prepare for potential extreme conditions, is always the same: “Let’s HANG SOMEONE!”, “This should NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN!” (but, of course, it will – the cost of preventing EVERY CONCEIVABLE EXTREME SITUATION would be ENORMOUS and UNAFFORDABLE!) “SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, FIX IT, RIGHT NOW!” “PROTECT ME FROM ALL HARM from ALL SOURCES!”

    There is nothing quite like the uninformed, irrational whining of the DEPENDENT – or FakeNewsMedia!

    1. Naturally, there is the happy medium position that says: Look, this is obviously fucked up, especially when lives really are on the line. Power plants are not just boat anchors and it reasonable to keep them running. What can we do to get them back up and running, now and in the future?

      So I hear, they have kippers for breakfast in Texas, ’cause everyone’s a millionaire. Why can’t weatherization even when not needed be a thing too? And wouldn’t weatherization mean protection in _all_ weather? After all, ” everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you.”

  37. So..Reason has finally responded to this pressing issue in Texas. They had to wait for the go ahead from the koch’s on how to spin this to make it look like deregulation had nothing to do with it when its the main reason that this happen in the first place. This article is a perfect representation of pathetic quality that is the corporate dick sucking philosophy that is right wing libertarianism. No wonder chicks never want to fuck libertarian dudes.

    1. Funny, I didn’t think the homophobic Alpha Male Chad vs. Virgin subculture existed on the Left.

      Care to explain to all of us just what deregulation has to do with any of this? After all, it was a regulatory body in Texas, ERCOT, that did the rolling blackouts.

      1. ERCOT is the utilities cartel which has in one form or another been around since WW2. Since 1999, that entity was chosen as the entity to manage electricity.

        While I’m certain that ancaps do not view any possible government action as ‘deregulated’, on planet Earth ‘letting’ a private cartel run something previously run by a govt entity constitutes ‘deregulation’.

        1. I appreciate the answer you gave, Jfree, but I was especially curious where some guy666 gets this stuff that non-existent deregulation caused the Texas crisis.

          If ERCOT is a cartel given it’s powers by the government, then ERCOT is cronyism or modern-day Mercantillism, not deregulation or free-market Capitalism.

          Genuine free market energy means multiple and competing energy sources and providers and free-flowing fuels from all natural sources, with prices governed by unregulated supply-and-demand and all without government subsidy and all pollution limited by private property rights and strict liability.

          What we have now in Texas or the whole U.S. isn’t even close.

  38. Very Nice Information. Thank You.
    shayari

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