Winter Storms in Texas: Who's to Blame for the Millions of Texans Without Electricity? by Donna John
An unprecedented winter weather event has caused the state of Texas to plummet into an Arctic-like state. Temperatures have not been this low in decades and we are experiencing the coldest nights on record. The storm has shut down the cities like Houston, Austin and Dallas, and the demand for energy to keep the heat on in homes has caused 4.3 million Texans to be without electricity.
Texas is the only self-regulated energy state and has its own power grid to avoid dealing with the federal government. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is the corporation that manages the flow of electric power in Texas – and who many blame for the millions of people without power during the winter storm.
A news channel and radio station posted the question to Texan residents asking their thoughts on how the winter storm is being handled and what they would like to stay to ERCOT and elected officials. Here's a sampling of what they had to say:
- "I would like for ERCOT to be held responsible for the 10 plus deaths [so far] that have occurred in Houston. They should have improved the logistics of the grid several years ago. No one should have died trying to stay warm. This is 2021 not the 1950s." – Bebe D.
- "Please explain why those companies that serve as energy generators failed to adequately prepare equipment and personnel for this storm? The storm was forecasted and all knew to a large extent what the weather was going to be like. As individual homeowners we all did everything to prepare so why did energy and water providers not? This has cost some people their lives and their families deserve the truth." – Jen M.
- "They need to be held responsible and eat the additional costs they have incurred on their negligence. They should also be charged for every single death of someone that has died due to these conditions. All executives should be charged with murder and held accountable. This is their job and they didn’t do it well." – Stacy L.
- WTH? Why WHY weren’t you better prepared for this? Are y’all that incompetent? Why are some of us still 48 hours without power with your so called rolling blackouts and others just lost theirs last night??? WTH??!! Is there so big catastrophic failure in a plant that you’re not saying? Be honest ... don’t sugar coat or make excuses. People have LOST THEIR LIVES TRYING TO STAY WARM." – Jennifer K.
- "Honestly, if there were issues with the power supply we should’ve done these 'rolling blackouts' last week when it was NOT life threatening. I hope going forward whoever is in charge uses their brain a little to reduce this in the future." – Candice S.
- "I’m not the biggest fan of [Governor] Abbott, but this isn’t his fault. The responsibility of the grid failure falls solely on ERCOT’s shoulders. While I’m not opposed to clean and renewable energy, something more stable should be used for backup, in the event that something happens like this again. There’s no reason why people should be freezing in their own homes during a historic winter storm. Whoever is in charge of long-term planning should be fired." – Deb S.
- "ERCOTs board doesn't even live in Texas! How about replace the board with Texans that actually are effected by decisions of the board!" – Darla D.
- "Texas State Reps. and ERCOT due to your NEGLIGENCE and decision to turn a blind eye you’ve KILLED people, caused property damage and MENTAL ANGUISH. Let alone the millions in insurance claims and personal deductibles. You claim it is because of the weather, sorry we know better. You were warned many years ago about the grid and you brushed it off for profit and personal gain and escaped regulations. Now you’re pointing fingers like immature kids! Property can be replaced, but the lives you ended can not! This is sooooo frustrating! I hope folks remember this when it’s time to VOTE!!!" – Nikki J.
- "Unforgiveable!! It's 2021 and [we] can't handle cold weather??" – Lea C.
- "After three nights of not having electricity, what is the problem? We can prepare for a hurricane, never lose power (we were some of the lucky ones), but when you have adequate time to put measures in place to keep people warm, you can't do it? Why?" – Tina S.
- "I smell a class action lawsuit. It would be very well deserved for them to pay out billions to us the people of the state of Texas for what they are putting us, but more importantly, our children through." – Augusto J.
- "Dear Gov. Abbott, please take the $90 million you spend on STAAR and put it toward a better, more reliable power grid." – Debra D.
- "This situation is totally unacceptable situation! Going on 40 HOURS no power, no water. I am disabled and unable to maintain my wheelchair power with no electricity!! The grid needs to be evaluated for unexpected/potentially catastrophic weather." – Theresa B.
- "The energy corridor can’t power itself? That’s the definition of failure right there." – Christine M.
- "Sadly the 'great' state isn't in such a great state right now. Have been without power for a few days now." – Brenda S.
- "I would like to say to [middle finger] ERCOT and all officials who knew this was coming and didn’t give us enough time to prepare." – Jenna D.
- "Congratulations ERCOT executives!!! You’ve managed to unify Texas!!! You have now become more hated than any politician or criminal in history. Your decisions are directly responsible for what is happening and the lives that lost and affected." – Raj S.
What do YOU think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Great question, KPRC2 Andy Cerota. Thoughts?
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