Negligence, not the Green New Deal, is to blame for Texas’ inclement weather

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Senate Democrats | Wikimedia Commons

Farah Javed, Copy Chief

Texas’s freezing temperatures are an anomaly, reaching 20 to 25 degrees below what they usually are. Now, some are reasonably saying that the crisis is due to climate change and a failure on the state government’s part to act.

Others say that if the public examined the crisis and took off its mask, a la the Scooby-Doo monster reveal, then everyone would see the culprit is the Green New Deal. That is absurd.

The Green New Deal is just a “a congressional resolution that lays out a grand plan for tackling climate change,” according to The New York Times. That plan seeks to do so by making the United States’ electricity totally sourced from renewable energy.

Regardless of the public’s stance on the Green New Deal, it is impossible for a resolution that hasn’t even been implemented into law to cause Texas’s blackouts and crisis.

What caused it was incompetence and lack of preparation.

The winter storm brought six inches of snow, but it also brought frigid single-digit temperatures. As Texans braced the unbearable lows, the pipes to their homes froze and many were left without electricity.

Instead of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott doing something to help his people, he was on Fox News falsely targeting proposed legislation.

“This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal,” he said.

On the contrary. The situation exposed Texas’ own lack of insight.

“A severe storm paralyzed almost every energy source, from power plants to wind turbines, because their owners hadn’t made the investments needed to produce electricity in subfreezing temperatures,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

The New Green Deal is a hypothetical plan. It is not in charge of regulating energy in Texas, nor is it in charge of incentivizing companies to keep their electricity plants to persist in extreme weather. That was the Abbott’s job, along with state officials, and they failed to do so.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller also perpetuated the false idea that alternative energy sources to natural gas were to blame.

“We should never build another wind turbine in Texas. The experiment failed big time,” Miller said.

Miller, however, was not spreading the truth.

On Feb. 16, The Electric Reliability Council of Texas reported, “45 gigawatts total were offline, with 28 gigawatts from thermal sources and 18 gigawatts from renewable sources.”

That means that though some wind turbines did stop generating energy in Texas, most power outages came from a loss of fossil fuel energy.

In New York, wind turbines can operate in freezing temperatures, so it begs the question as to why they couldn’t in Texas.

“There are a variety of cold weather and anti-icing technologies that are used on wind turbines in the coldest regions,” Amy Kurt, senior manager of regional government affairs for EDP Renewables, said. “These technologies help prevent the buildup of ice on turbine blades, detect ice when it cannot be prevented, and remove ice safely when it is detected,” she added.

Based on Kurt’s statement, it is clear that the power plant owners could have adjusted turbines, but they failed, again, to do so.

Considering that the two officials did not root their claims in truth, one must wonder why they were attacking the Green New Deal in the first place.

To paint the full picture of why Texas officials are choosing to blame the Green New Deal instead of taking responsibility for their failure, look to politics.

The Green New Deal was introduced by two Democrats: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts.

Anyone who has followed the news in the past four years would know that some Republican Congress members have trouble accepting climate change as a real crisis and don’t support the Green New Deal. Many also opposed Ocasio-Cortez within that group, taking any opportunity to argue against her and socialism.

Abbott and Miller are among the Republicans who are staunchly against the Green New Deal.

Instead of admitting the fact that natural energy failed Texas in its most dire time, these Texas officials have tried to twist the truth to both attack the plan and distract from the fact that Texas is the largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in the United States.

Their attempt fails, however, since the truth isn’t malleable.

Another notable figure that is a known criticizer of Ocasio-Cortez is Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Texans were, and are continuing to, die from a lack of water and heat, and have even resorted to extreme measures like melting snow in order to have water in toilets.

During this time, one of their elected senators wasn’t trying to help the people or provide aid. Instead, he was dressed in short sleeves and a polo, on his way to a resort in Cancun, Mexico.

While Cruz had the audacity to wear the state flag on his face mask as he returned to the people he abandoned, Ocasio-Cortez raised over $3 million in relief and even flew out to Texas herself, from New York, during a pandemic, to distribute supplies.

Regardless of whether someone supports her or not, she clearly did more for Texas than the state’s actual senator.

Ultimately, the Green New Deal isn’t to blame. What is to blame is the fact that some politicians are so focused on retaining their profits, they choose to sacrifice the well-being of the people they are elected to protect.

Texas Oil & Gas Association President Todd Staples had specifically held a press briefing on Jan. 14, 2020 where he discussed Texas’ oil and natural gas industry’s advantages to its residents.

“Oil and natural gas does more than fuel our cars, power our homes and businesses, form the building blocks of our everyday goods and secure our nation. Taxes paid by the oil and natural gas industry support teachers and schools, build roads, boost essential and emergency services, improve healthcare facilities and bolster our state’s infrastructure,” Staples said.

It is ironic that the same oil and gas he stated benefits Texans would cause their suffering in 2021. Unfortunately, contrary to his optimism, neither sources of energy proved useful in a statewide emergency.

On top of horrible and deadly living conditions for Texans, the lack of regulations on the energy companies left some Texans with $5,000 electricity bills, further hurting people before the crisis is even over.

The Green New Deal did not make electricity go out in Texas. The Green New Deal did not lead to people boiling water. The Green New Deal did not kill Texans in their bedrooms.

Profit motive and negligence did.