Substandard Energy Service

According to “Texas Monthly” the blackouts during the arctic blasts this past week weren’t the first. Instead, this was the fourth time for power reduction and blackouts since 2000. As an anti-regulation, deep Red state, Texas was unwilling to mandate that power generators winterize their equipment or create backup resources to offset losses in generating power. They didn’t want to order these precautions, and didn’t want to pay for them.

So now they are asking the Federal government for relief for what they would not do.

The governor blamed wind turbines for the blackouts, but that was basically a lie. Natural gas pipelines froze, and coal and gas generating facilities shut down. While some wind turbines froze, the bulk of energy loss was in fossil fuel generation. In fact, the wind turbines that stayed in operation produced more energy than regulators expected. Without them, the situation would have been worse.

The map shows the extent of outages.

Source: Texas Monthly

The bulk of outages nationwide were in Oklahoma and Texas.

However, in fairness there were notable failures in southern Virginia, Mississippi, and the Appalachian coal country of eastern Kentucky, eastern Ohio, and West Virginia. On the West Coast, there were outages around Portland, Oregon and a small number in San Bernardino County, California. Outages also affected scattered mostly rural areas in other states.

Will Texas learn from this experience? Who knows. For that matter, will any of the other states act?

I remember an old saying from my billiards days: “Miss a shot and the next one you see will be worse.”



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