You Won’t Like It When Texas Gets Angry

Pardon me while I do a bit of a rant. After the past week here in Texas, I’m due. Like so many others right now, I’m tired of the cold. I’m tired of being stuck in the house because the neighborhood is basically impassable. I’m tired of worrying about my son who hasn’t had power at his house in San Antonio all week long. But, most of all, I’m tired of idiots like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and her ilk pointing fingers and telling us it is all our fault because we haven’t embraced her New Green Plan, etc.

Here’s something these politicians and self-appointed finger-pointers conveniently forget: this is the worst cold snap we’ve suffered as a state since at least 1949. So tell me, Mr. Internet Troll, how were we supposed to anticipate this? Sure, DFW and other areas have suffered isolated winter storms in the past that impacted power delivery for a period of days and even, in the very rare instance, weeks. But these were isolated to limited geographical areas–not the entire fucking state. These instances dealt with tens of square miles, maybe hundreds, not thousands of square miles.

In other words, Texas is a big damn state and it has never been impacted STATEWIDE like it has been this past week.

So tell me again how we should have anticipated and been prepared for something we’ve never before experienced?

And tell me this, do you tell California and other states the same thing when they start their brownouts every damned summer?

Now we have Nancy Pelosi saying the House–you know, her own personal little fiefdom, is going to look into what happened so it never happens again. First of all, the House, the Senate–hell, the Feds–have no business stepping in and investigating what happened because Texas has its own power grid. It doesn’t cross state lines and is, therefore, not subject to federal oversight or interference. If I trusted Pelosi to be impartial and make sure those doing the investigating were as well, I’d probably welcome the help finding out what we can do better to make sure this doesn’t happen again. But none of us can trust her to be impartial. Not when we have evidence that is less than a day or two old that she has appointed someone as head of the commission looking into the Jan 6th events who has indicated on multiple occasions his disdain for Republicans via social media outlets.

Yeah, right, I really trust her to be fair where Texas is concerned–not.

But I also don’t trust ERCOT and others to be honest about what happened either. We’re seeing the Greenies in DC doing their best to debunk the idea that green energy was part of the problem. In fact, AOC has pointed a finger and all but laughed gleefully at our suffering, saying if we just adopted her energy policy, none of this would have happened.

Sorry, lady–and I use that term loosely, but there would still have been a poblem. Let me spell it out for you:

  • Snow and ice covered solar panels, preventing them from doing what they are meant to do.
  • Ice froze up wind turbines and turbines that don’t turn, don’t make electricity.
  • Snow and ice covered roadways, train tracks, airport runways meant ground transport of fuel to run generators, etc., couldn’t reach their destination.
  • The high demand for power–and water–was unprecedented because this storm front/cold snap covered the entire state.

Yes, things that could and should have been done by ERCOT weren’t. Things like giving the residents and businesses more of a warning to start cutting back on their power use. The National Weather Service had been predicting a bad weather snap for more than a week. But we weren’t notified of the potential for brownouts until a day or two before the storm hit.

There are going to be some folks who don’t like what I have to say, but I’m going to say it anyway. We, as individuals, should have been more resopnsible as well. We should have listened to the forecast, we should have listened when ERCOT did finally say there might be brown outs and we should have taken steps. That means we should have made sure our pantries, fridges and freezers were stocked. We should have made sure we had batteries to operate radios and lights, etc. We should have had charcoal or propane on hand for grills. We should have checked with our neighbors, making sure they were all right and finding out who had what so resources could be pooled if necesssary. (For example, the first day my son was without power, he and his neighbors all pulled grills around front and cooked dinner together, checking on one another, sharing where needed and generally making sure everyone was all right and had a plan in place in case things continued–as they did.)

But, all that said, here’s the thing. This wasn’t something we could have anticipated. Not regarding how long the cold has lasted or how much ice and snow we got over such a large portion of the state. I can’t remember a time when the snow and ice covered an area from the Panhandle down to Houston and all parts in between.

So quit trying to score political points for your green energy plan on what’s happening down here. Instead, why don’t you look at your own states and solve their problems before trying to “help” us?

Featured Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

About the author

Writer, proud military mom and possessed by two crazy cats and one put-upon dog. Writes under the names of Amanda S. Green, Sam Schall and Ellie Ferguson.

Comments

  1. I know you, personally, are female, but… even WITH preparation (and more prepared ALWAYS beats less prepared)… Ma Nature will will eventually fight dirty and just plain kick you in the goolies.

    And I say that as someone who has backup heat, cooking, light, food, water (likely not nearly enough, admittedly) and EXPECTS three days downtime… sometime. I know damn well I’ve been MIGHTY LUCKY SO FAR. And I keep wondering, “What am I overlooking?” Sarah’s “BOB” (bug out bag) guest post, even for a “bug IN” was useful. I picked up a couple things from that.

    As I put it elsewhere:

    Power, water, gas/oil, net. (and any other “grid”) came back after three days out. Are you there to enjoy it? Yeah, I keep wondering what I missed.

    And water was out for maybe a couple hours maybe less here, due to work on a main break. Only that we were TOLD it was planned, did I have a few measures (Extra pitcher for washing, extra bucket for flushing…. thankfully not needed) in place. Something I need to address.

    1. Yep. Exactly. I usually am fairly well stocked at any time. Since the covid restrictions hit, I’ve upped not only what is in and around my BOB but also the general stores at the house. And I will admit to a flutter of concern when I saw one shelf — actually a very small part of one shelf — in the pantry yesterday. It hasn’t been down far enough for me to do that since this time last year. . . if not longer.

      And, yes, as soon as the roads are a bit better in the neighborhood and the stores are open and stocking, I’m restocking my stores to the previous level as well as making a couple of adjustments.

    2. Ovan, even I was caught out. I was stuck with my basic BOB, then managed, of all things, to forget my reading glasses. Call me a hypocrit – I’ll answer!
      But the post helped others, even if I was complacent. Up until Monday, when my power went out. I thought I had more time for update myself. I didn’t. Hence I had to go boot scooting south to my sisters, who thankfully never lost power or water.
      Otherwise, no broken pipes, and when I made it back Friday afternoon, everything was fine. I did have to dump a lot of refrigerator items, though.

  2. No offense, but this COULD and SHOULD have been anticipated. Texas got a wake up call in 2011, was urged to winterize to help prevent this kind of thing and the powers that be ignored the warnings. Hell, they figured it out in EL PASO, for cripe’s sake-they winterized, and if the halfwits in charge there got it, anyone could. You have a bunch of low grade idiots running things. I used to live in El Paso. I never thought I’d ever type these words, but El Paso did it right. This one’s on TEXAS and deflecting attention towards AOC and other idiots is a waste of typing time.

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/texas-power-grid-outage-ercot/#:~:text=Unlike%20the%20other%20states%20in,a%20chunk%20of%20East%20Texas.

    1. Sorry, but bullshit. I’ll admit there are idiots on ERCOT, but saying we should have anticipated a winter storm this bad covering this much of the state is like saying we should anticipate the great flood. And I’m not the one deflecting attention. She’s the one who took to social media to point and laugh. I’m simply calling her out on it.

      The problem is, as one legislator noted today, ERCOT still pretty much acts on its own. There are no legislators on the body. The problems don’t show up until after the fact. As in, they knew at least a week before this happened they were going to do rolling blackouts but didn’t warn the state or the residents. Not until 24-48 hours before the storm hit.

      And, frankly, I have no problem keeping our power grid separate from the rest of the nation. I’ve seen too many friends and family members suffer from long blackouts because power from their region was diverted to another region, usually one that supported the current administration.

  3. You get what you pay for. Texas was urged to winterize after 2011 and cheaped out rather than spend the $$$ to protect against this kind of thing. Given that El Paso, which, for geographic reasons, isn’t part of the Texas grid, did anticipate this by winterizing and preparing for this, it’s hard for you to argue that the rest of Texas couldn’t. But that’s not the most important thing to take away from this.

    The big question is this: Now that this has happened, are the people of Texas going to let the state and ERCOT cheap out AGAIN on winterizing? Because it will happen again.

  4. I saw something about this minor horror author saying that Texas “got this” because Trump didn’t believe in Climate Change.

    The minor horror author apparently was named Stephen King. 😈

  5. Most people don’t plan for the thing that is only gonna happen once every 50 or hundred years. The chances of it hitting in their lifetimes are so small it’s not worth worrying about. But TX got hit by perfect storm of events this week. Most disasters aren’t dependent on just one thing going wrong, but a series of events all hitting at the same time.

    That being said, there are some things that should have been done before that really need to get done now. For TX specifically, prepare for cold snaps by winterizing equipment/infrastructure. For the US in general, “green” energy isn’t reliable during severe weather events and we still need those fossil fuel/nuclear plants around to be able to spin up at short notice and provide a back stop. We need to quit subsidizing “green” energy so much (preferably not at all).

    1. Exactly. Here’s what some folks don’t realize. The legislature told ERCOT to update and winterize. But it wasn’t mandated. So ERCOT did what it wanted to. That’s on Rick Perry. I have a feeling Abbott and those in Austin right now are going to make sure steps are taken that go far behond the “virtual” winterizing that was done this year.

      As for your comment about reliability, a state legislator from Arlington was interviewed this morning. He’s on the state energy committee, iirc. One point he made is there’s a fundamental problem with green energy. You can’t quantify in anythign remotely resembling exact numbers how much energy it can produce at any one time. You don’t know how much energy the wind will produce because the wind varies minute to minute, hour to hour and day to day. Solar energy isn’t reliable either due to weather conditions.

      1. Yup, about the only “green” energy that you can pin a number on for any given time frame is geothermal. But that’s not an option most places. Everything else is weather dependent, even hydro (on a longer time frame) and I don’t think most greenies consider that “green” anymore.

  6. In theory, Osbourne’s guest posts at ATH on dual dynamo solar model indicates that a Texas wide mess of winter storms could have been foreseeable.

    In practice, even in the best of circumstances, a lot of bureaucracies would not show that level of foresight. There’s always a case against increasing maintenance costs beyond what is truly needed, and people are going to err both ways. AGW alarmism to some extent has displaced and diluted the ability to make people aware of the issues of a colder solar period.

    Beyond that, a naive-not-a-meteorologist model would guess that it would be more likely for Kansas, Oklahoma, etc to get plastered fairly hard with winter storms at least a year before something hits the /whole/ of Texas. If this last cluster of winter storms isn’t improbable, you’ve got to wonder what sort of severe winter weather we will see in coming decades.

    Wretchard talks a lot about the design margin of society, the unknown factors of safety that correlate to disaster robustness. The Covid lockdown that was the early stages of the Biden affair spent a /lot/, and much of that came out of the design margin. That has made the subsequent natural disasters hit worse than they would have otherwise.

    DC wants to spend more on green energy for their cronies, so they do not want to spend on disaster relief, or on adjusting the grid to have the fossil and nuclear plants we need. If the Texans deserve to suffer, then DC need not feel any emotional conflict about doing what DC wants to do.

    DC is intent on spending down the design margin, and will not soon willingly relent.

    I’m not looking forward to the sadistic gloating that I anticipate as a response to Tornado season.

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