Were the Electrical Blackouts in Texas an Avoidable Tragedy?

(Unsplash)

Could the crisis and rolling blackouts Texas faced this week have been avoided? The answer is certainly yes.

But the bigger question remains: Was this avoidable winter crisis about inept leadership or something more sinister?

As Texas struggles to recover from the winter storm that left millions without power, it caused many to ask the question, "How could this happen?" Texas is the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation. So, how did Texas find itself in an energy crisis during this artic storm?

It starts by looking at who is in charge. Did you know Texas has its own grid that regulates the electricity for most of the state? There are only three grids for the mainland U.S. These are the Eastern Interconnection, the Western Interconnection—and Texas.

The latter was supposedly created to avoid interference by the federal government. But if it was created to protect Texas, why are many of those in charge of that power grid not from Texas and several with no experience in the energy sector?

ERCOT is the non-profit organization in charge of Texas' energy source and manages power for more than 26 million Texans, about 90% of the state's electric load.

This is where it gets rather interesting. ERCOT is comprised of a 16-member board. The chairwoman, Sally Talberg, lives in Michigan and was appointed just two weeks ago. She and the vice chair, Pater Cramton, neither call Texas home and both are called "unaffiliated directors."

An unaffiliated board member does not have ties to Texas energy entities or markets. And this isn't the first time ERCOT has thrown Texas residents into crisis. Gov. Greg Abbott of the Lone Star state called for the resignation of the ERCOT leadership.

On top of cutting the power to millions of Texans this week, ERCOT made the decision to raise electricity prices based on an order by The Public Utility Commission after demand for power surpassed what the state could offer. "Energy prices should reflect scarcity of the supply," the order said. But wait, actions reveal that it was ERCOT's decisions or lack thereof which precipitated the scarcity of supply.

Why didn't the supply meet the demand? Remember, Texas is the largest energy-producing and energy-consuming state in the nation. So how did Texas wind up in an energy crisis during this storm?

In 2011, ERCOT found itself in a very similar crisis that affected 3.2 million Texans. After a harsh winter storm, which crushed Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, ERCOT did then what it did this week—cut power to millions of homes.

After an extensive investigation by The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission after that storm, the commission released a 357-page report "which detailed nine separate findings that showed exactly what happened inside ERCOT's power grid that left millions without power for so long."

One of the biggest questions raised was why, as the forecasts showed what was coming toward Texas, energy production was not increased nor were the energy reserves activated.

That is the same question we should be asking today as that same error was repeated. Was it intentional to create scarcity to create higher prices? Something worse?

It appears ERCOT learned nothing from the 2011 event. Ten days to two weeks ago, as radar indicated the artic front was coming, energy production was not increased. (I have heard some reports that actually said production was slowed as the storm approached, but I have not been able to confirm them.) In any event, without an increase, there was no way that production would meet customer demand.

According to a Fox News affiliate in Austin, TX, "As of Tuesday morning, over 4 million Texans were without power after planned rolling blackouts were never brought back online. Since then, customers have wondered why some areas have maintained power, while others have been in the dark and cold for days. One of those hit with prolonged darkness was a nursing home.

The mother of one of my friends was a resident at a nursing home in Texas where power was cut for over 26 hours before he learned of the situation. When he called to check on her, he discovered that the temperature inside the facility was only 42 degrees! Every resident in that facility was bedridden, and the youngest was 75. The workers had no solution except to put additional blankets on the seniors. Why was power to nursing home facilities shut down for hours on end when controlled rolling blackouts were announced to last just an hour or two? How many nursing homes had power cut and for how long putting vulnerable seniors at risk?

My friend, who lives in a neighboring state, went in search of propane and eventually found a supply to fill the back of his pickup bed. He drove the several hours trip to Texas to deliver the fossil fuel so workers could start the generators and bring the nursing home temps up to a more tolerable high in the fifties and low sixties.

Which gets us to the Biden administration's push for green energy. While the liberal media rushes to defend green energy and push the blame on Texas' unique power grid, the bottom line is wind and solar energy failed and no federal regulation would have changed that.

Green energy sources for Texas total between 23% – 28% of the state's energy production harnessing wind and sun. However, in the frigid temperatures, the wind turbines were said to have frozen and there was little to no sunlight to create solar power. This reduced and in some cases eliminated the renewable power available which had replaced the dependable fossil fuel sources. This was absolutely a contributor to the crisis.

While many news sites try to hide this fact, FEMA officials confirmed the green energy mishap saying "the lower energy output was due to a variety of factors, including icing on wind turbines and heavy cloud coverage that has reduced solar power generation."

But the failure of green energy and the lack of foresight by ERCOT leadership weren't the only factors in this perfect storm. One of Biden's executive orders, which he signed the day of his inauguration, lifted the security of American power grids when he chose to reverse Trump's protective order of May 1, 2020 for the United States Bulk-Power System.

When Biden cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, and with it an estimated 11,000 jobs, tucked away in that executive order was the removal of protections of our energy grids for 90 days. Why on earth would our government remove protections from our energy grids and for what purpose?

What prompted President Trump's protective order? A report from the Department of Energy revealed the U.S.'s growing reliance on Chinese manufactured transformers with the actual production of power transformers in the United States less than one-fifth that of China's.

The report also warned that on our current trajectory, "by 2040, China's installed power generation capacity will surpass that of the United States and will hold a quarter of the world's total capacity of 8,254 GW, becoming the world's largest power generating capacity holder."

President Trump saw the need to put protections in place when he stated in the May 1, 2020 order that "the United States should no longer purchase transformers and other electric grid equipment manufactured in China." His administration recognized the importance of ending the relationship and reliance of U.S. utilities with Chinese businesses and multi-national companies manufacturing transformers in China which are then plugged into our electric grid and potentially embedded with software and hardware that can be remotely accessed, enhancing China's ability to commit cyberattacks.

So why did Biden remove the protective order?

"What we're seeing today, is an avoidable tragedy," said Dan Brouillette the U.S. Secretary of Energy from 2019 to 2021. "In the previous administration under the leadership of President Trump, what he directed me to do and what he directed my predecessor to do, Secretary Rick Perry, was to produce all forms of energy here in America.

"So it's not only that we produced more energy in America, we produced different forms of energy that included fossil energy, it included things like natural gas and oil here in America," he continued, noting that under Trump, the U.S. was "now the largest producer of those products in the world."

Since 2010 289 coal-fired power plants have been closed comprising 40 percent of the U.S.'s coal-power capacity. Of that number, at least 239 plants were closed under President Obama in his effort to shut down fossil fuel and force states into green energy.

Under the Obama administration states were forced to close down their coal plants and cut emissions or threatened with their highway funding being taken away if they didn't comply.

According to Phil Kerpen, president of the conservative American Commitment, "President Obama's EPA is executing a massive power play, attempting to coerce states into adopting draconian policies that would steeply increase the price of energy. States that don't cooperate are being told they'll have their federal highway funding cut off. That's unconstitutional."

As the Biden administration put America back into the Paris Climate Accord and pushes for AOC's bankrupting Green New Deal, we should be asking if these rolling blackouts are just the beginning of their planned reset or "new normal" in which energy is completely under their control and your SMART meter a control of just who will get energy. Will it be given only to those who comply? A scary thought indeed.

(Reprinted with permission from Intercessors for America—ifapray.org.)

Karen Hardin is the author of INFECTED: How to Stop the Global Spread of Rage, Deception and Insanity. Click here to order. She is a literary agent, author and intercessor. Her work has appeared in USA Today, World Net Daily, Intercessors For America, Charisma, CBN.com, The Elijah List, and so forth. She is also co-founder of the City-by-City prayer movement to save our nation. For additional information on her ministry, business or to sign up for her prophetic blog go to karenhardin.com or you can contact her at prioritypr.org.

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