Texans who’ve shivered in the dark for days are justified in their anger. Perhaps that anger was the only thing keeping us warm. We should hold onto it, cultivate it and put it to good use.

It should motivate us to demand answers from state lawmakers about how the energy capital of the nation left millions of people in such miserable, often perilous and sometimes lethal conditions.

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248; laura.elder@galvnews.com.

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(35) comments

Deborah Jones

Bravo. Laura! You are right on point!

Robert Braeking

Another point not made. ERCOT jacked up the wholesale price of electricity 3,000%. From an average $0.03/kwh in January to currently over $9.00/kwh. That is price gouging in an emergency. When the class action lawsuit is filed count me in.

Gary Scoggin

ERCOT didn’t do that. A free, barely regulated market did that. It was capitalism at its best.

Bill S.

Gary, I'm going to disagree with you on this one. I worked Nuclear Generating Stations for many, many years - including South Texas Project. This entire article shuffles the blame off ERCOT and onto the Electricity Generators - fossil and nuclear as the root of the problem. I agree that losing 1280MWe is not good, given the extreme conditions at hand, but they had the tripped plant back on line the following day. (Loss of feedwater systems to Unit 1 caused the Safety Trip) The entire grid was down 30,000MWe from what was needed to keep up. Many of the Gas Fired Plants couldn't get fuel because the wells were frozen. Did they prepare for the extreme conditions? Very likely not, but Nuclear was only a small, very small percentage of what they could not generate. Nuclear typically supplies 11%. Gas is the major electrical provider. ERCOT was woefully derelict in ENSURING Texas was ready for this to preclude such an awful tragedy. I was without power for 3.5 days and got my water back yesterday. Recall, they shut down P.H. Robinson in 2009 - it supplied 2300MWe to the grid and is just about 6 miles from Galveston. I pose the question, If it were still running, would Galveston have gone down? I believe not. Wind and Solar just won't hack it.

Doyle Neuwiller

Dang, Laura. What a spectacular article!!

Virginia Stone

Power was restored at my house just before 6 pm Wednesday it was turned off at around 1: 50 am Monday and I will not forget to let ERCOT, Abbott, and other politicians know just how much I didn't like being turned off at their discretion. Rick Perry should speak for himself when he declared Texans wouldn't mind if the power was out even longer just to avoid federal regulations of the crumbling power grid and why is the grid mechanics in disrepair because of no real regulatory oversight. Blaming wind turbines is the bs that climate deniers are ranting and stating as fact on alternative facts TV as the cause for the collapse, but we know it is bs and it is easily proven.

Jonathan Frank

It is blatantly obvious that deregulating critical infrastructure is a lethal mistake. Greed and profits are the priority at the cost of human

lives. Those responsible for this disaster should be held accountable to the highest degree. Furthermore, there needs to be a demand for oversight of this and other critical utilities.

Allan Scott

Absolutely agree about electricity deregulation. I was an energy manager for 19 years with budgets in the $millions per year. Deregulation was a huge mistake and made lots of people multi-millionaires! Lobbyists converged on The Capital and greased the skids pushing deregulation as being good for the consumer. We now pay higher prices and obviously reliability has suffered tremendously. I hope Texas can take a step back and do a thorough evaluation of deregulation after 20 years. There are more retail electric providers than mosquitos in Galveston on a summer night.

Ellen Morrison

It’s all about the cronyism. I’m sure you could trace the money.

Excellent article, Laura!

Bill Broussard

Deregulation bets that a free market is great for everyone. In other words it bets our lives on a GOP theory where those same characters put tariffs on French wine

To add insult, one of the main theorists, Ted Cruz just hoped a plane to Cancun till you and I get this straightened out

Jarvis Buckley

Bill he went down one day , came back the next. That my friend is the truth.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Charles Douglas

Y'all quit playing!!! Stop it!! Y'all know good and well, that TRUMP caused all this!! [wink]

Gary Scoggin

Sorry Charles, It was CHINA. You left that out. (Don’t get me worried, my friend,)

Raymond Lewis

A huge high five Laura! You are smack on and here's hope we all take heed. It's not a stretch to expect our representatives be accountable. That is; take credit for the good things but be equally as willing to accept responsibility for those things that do not go so well (an under statement in this case). No blaming, just get about the business of planning/preparing for a future, even while we constantly ignore glaring data from our past.

Bailey Jones

And let's not forget that this "fluke" will happen again. As more and more heat goes into our climate it becomes less and less stable and predictable. A common opinion in this forum is that climate change is just fine and we just need to cope with it. Well, "coping with it" means major investments in weatherizing our energy infrastructure which will mean more expensive power - from all sources. And we need to end this ridiculous isolated grid that keeps Texas from sharing power with other states.

Do you know who hasn't been in the national news all week? Louisiana. They had their problems, of course, - from a news story in The Advocate (https://www.theadvocate.com/baton_rouge/news/politics/article_2e4e0036-7176-11eb-9e8e-1f5a23f3707a.html), "Louisiana utility regulators are taking a deep dive into the chain of events, including what they call greedy natural gas suppliers, that led to the rolling energy blackouts that left some 2 million customers in the dark and cold, some for more than an hour." Oh, the horror! Lousiana is part of a power grid that extends from the gulf to Canada. It also includes parts of East Texas - I'd be curious to learn how they faired compared to the rest of the state.

According to this story - https://www.kjas.com/news/local_news/article_e2830294-70c3-11eb-b3e8-478786f8cd49.html - Jasper, Texas is implementing rolling blackouts - of 30 minutes. Jasper is part of Entergy, the same shared grid that Louisiana belongs to.

What Jasper and Louisiana are experiencing is what we should have seen here - moderate and manageable rolling blackouts due to a rare and unpredicted weather event. Not a state-wide collapse of the energy grid with millions of Texans without power for days.

Craig Mason

Texas inability to manage our power grid has been the lead story on every website from Fox news to ABC nationwide. It is a disgrace that must be fixed. This was a natural disaster or phenomenon, that was exacerbated by being followed up with a man made disaster. We did this to ourselves by not demanding more after 2011.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Ted Gillis

Great article Laura.

Best work ever.

Diane Turski

Elections have consequences. I hope everyone will join me in demanding change at the ballot box because that is the only way we will get the change we need!!

Mike Zeller

Right On, Laura!

"Just confirmed @SenTedCruz and his family flew to Cancun tonight for a few days at a resort they've visited before," tweeted former MSNBC anchor David Shuster. What a POS to leave in the midst of a battle. Maybe there was nothing he could do, but at least pretend you care.

Bailey Jones

He does care, Mike. He cares about himself.

Charles Douglas

Listen,..it is my hope, and expectation that Mr. Zeller, and Mr. Jones will join me in voting for Senator Cruz in his next election! Senator Cruz might be the very individual who can bring the price of gasoline down again. Now.. think about that now!!!

Bailey Jones

Charles, why would a politician who nurses at the teat of Big Oil want to reduce oil and gas prices? The low low gas prices you've been enjoying have come at the expense of thousands of good Texas jobs and depressed prices for oil company stocks. Why I bet some oil company execs have had to take only million-dollar bonuses this year instead of multi-million dollar bonuses.

Jim Forsythe

At this time it is important that our elected officials start working to fix this mess.

Right now, we are seeing what our elected officials are made of.

Ted Cruz going to Cancun for vacation as his constituents freeze to death. Why would a Senator not be in Texas, in our time of need. If only doing small things, that make people see he is working for us.

Meanwhile, Beto O'Rourke is working as hard as anyone in America to help the people of Texas.

Beto O'Rourke @BetoORourke ·18h

We made over 151,000 calls to senior citizens in Texas tonight. One of our vols talked to a man stranded at home w/out power in Killeen, hadn’t eaten in 2 days, got him a ride to a warming center and a hot meal. Help us reach more people, join us tomorrow:

How many Texans did Ted Cruz help in the last few days?

The office of Sheila Jackson Lee has tweeted that the Congresswoman, along with nonprofit organization NACC Disaster Service, will be handing out bottle water and groceries to Houston communities affected by the winter storm, starting at 1 p.m

Ted Cruz is doing what?

Bailey Jones

Jim, they call it a Ted Cruise.

Jarvis Buckley

Yes I will vote for Senator Cruz every time.

During Obama’s presidency crude was $147:00

A barrel as a high. Trumps High was around $45:00 a barrel of crude. Trump kissed no ones feet. And that’s the truth. Under Biden one month in $60:60 high crude oil.

John Dupla

As a retired senior electrician for a large chemical plant in Bayport, I was charged to do high voltage switching involving getting switching orders from ERCOT. It was known years ago that our Texas electrical grid is years overdue for updating. An example, there are high voltage circuit breakers on the grid that are undersized to handle todays loads, therefore they become "pinch" points. ERCOT and the industry know about this and other issues. So why not fix it? Because they don't have to. ERCOT is not accountable to the citizens of Texas nor to anybody. They are set up as a commission not a state agency therefore free to operate at will. They even have it written into the states Public Utility Commission contract that includes the clause "ACT OF GOD" which basically absolves ERCOT from any responsibility. Abbott is throwing a" red herring" to blame green energy as a culprit. It's the state "good ole boy" protecting the oil/investors and their profits (explains increase in charges). If you believe it's the failure of green energy, you are biting the "red herring" hook.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Raymond Lewis

Thanks Mr. Dupla.

Lena Gilley

My mother lives in East Texas, Hemphill. They got a lot of snow and Ice! I was so worried about her losing power!! Guess what! She never lost power at all! Did not think mine would be out mon 2am to wed 8pm! Me my grandchildren and elderly relatives froze!!! Oh i did get 2 rolling blackouts 1 lasted 15 min! The other lasted 5 min! Then nothing ! Did not help! Heads need to roll in Austin! They the ones who got rich with deregulation! Sure the lobbyists were stuffing their pockets!!! Politicians are so crooked! They don’t care about the public! Except at Election time!

Charlotte O'rourke

Have you ever wondered if we are not told the full “truth” because it’s all about money?

Stock market crashing and accountability and all that stuff aside .... it really all boils down to money and keeping those consumers (you and me) on the never ending treadmill of more and more consumerism to keep the fat cats happy.

Charlotte O'rourke

“Description

A Fat Cat is a man of large means and slight political experience who, having reached middle age, and success in business, and finding no further thrill, sense or satisfaction in the mere piling up of more millions, develops a yearning for some sort of public honor, and is willing to pay for it.”

Not to be sexist I think the definition should have a man or woman language.

Carlos Ponce

And the felines weren't too happy with it either![wink]

Charlotte O'rourke

Lol. I’m sure.

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