Opinion | Texas, Land of Wind and Lies
Politicians are neither gods nor saints. Because they are not gods, they often make wrong policy decisions. Because they are not saints, they often try to avoid responsibility for their failures, either by stating that they have done to anyone or that someone else may be blamed.
For some time, politics looked fairly normal with the consequences of power spread throughout Texas. True, state leaders followed reckless policies that set the stage for catastrophe, then tried to avoid responsibility. But while his behavior was malicious, it was condemnable in ways we have seen many times over the years.
However, this changed the day after the severity of the disaster became clear. Republican politicians and right-wing media, not content with run-of-the-mill blem-shifting, have instead asserted a malicious lie – a claim that wind and solar power led to the collapse of the Texas power grid , And radical environmentalists are somewhat responsible for the fact that millions of people are cold in the dark, even though conservative Republicans have run the state for a generation.
This is not a normal political malice. This energy-policy is equivalent to claiming that the January 6 rebellion was a false flag. Antifa Operation – The raw refutation of reality, not only to avoid accountability, but to topple one’s opponents. And it is another indicator of the moral and intellectual downfall of American conservatism.
The underlying story of what happened in Texas seems absolutely clear. Like many states, Texas has a partially electric market, but has expanded from there to elsewhere. In particular, unlike other states, Texas Chose Not to provide power companies with incentives to establish reserve capacity to deal with possible emergencies. This made electricity cheaper in normal times, but when things went wrong the system became weak.
Texas officials also ignored warnings about the risks associated with extreme cold. Millions of Texans left in the dark after Cold Snap in 2011, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requested The state to cool its power plants with insulation, heat pipes and other measures. But Texas, which has been intentional Cut its power grid Implemented the recommendations only partially, to free themselves from federal regulation away from the rest of the country.
And a deep freeze occurred.
To cope with extreme cold, the power grid suffered several points of deterioration. The biggest problems have been encountered in the distribution of natural gas, Which normally supplies most of the state’s winter electricity, such as wellheads and pipelines. Nor was it only a matter of light; People are also troubled by the cold, as many Texas homes have electric heat. Many homes without heat depend on natural gas. We are witnessing heavy suffering and, perhaps, a significant death toll.
Texas is therefore facing a natural disaster that is far worse than major policy errors – and officials who hold those errors accountable should be held accountable.
However, instead of accepting responsibility, Gov. officials supported Greg Abbott downstream, almost the entire right Media complex, Has chosen to blame green energy, especially wind energy.
Now, it is true that the state generates a lot of electricity from wind, although it is a small fraction of the total. But not because Texas – Texas! – The environment is run by crazies. This is because there are wind turbines these days Cost effective energy source Wherever there is a lot of wind, and one thing in Texas is a lot of wind.
It is also true that extreme cold forced some of the state’s inadequate winter turbines. shut down, But as I said, it was happening in energy sources across Texas, with the worst problems associated with natural gas.
Why, then, an all-out effort to blame wind power?
The incentives are clear. The attack on wind energy is a path forward for both elected officials and free-market ideologies, dodging responsibility for botched deregulation; This is a way to appease the interests of fossil fuels, which gives Huge wholesale His political contributions to Republicans; And since progressivists favor renewable energy, this is one way to work. And all this denies climate change.
But why do they think they can tell such lies? The answer, of course, is that liars know that they are operating in a post-truth political landscape. When two third Republicans believe that Antifa was involved in the attack on the Capitol, selling the base to a bogus narrative about Texas’ power disaster that is practically child’s play.
And if you’re expecting any changes to the policies that led to this disaster, don’t count on it – at least as long as Texas remains Republican. Looking at everything we have seen, the best bet is that the performance of wind energy, not a realistic understanding of what actually happened, will advance the policy.
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