Texas and the lessons of deregulation


As millions of people freezing at home in the dark without electricity and potable water continues in first world Texas, there is one thing that Texas is not having a shortage of, and that’s political hot air about who and what is to blame for this fiasco.

The grid failure has nothing to do with the move to solar or wind energy, which makes up less than 10% of the energy generated in Texas. However that’s become the whipping boy of Republican politicians and right wing media. How about looking at the deregulation of this industry, which happened to avoid government regulation? Anyone sitting in the dark now down there think that was a good idea? Do you now understand what regulation helps to protect against? Might there be even more interest in solar and wind if your neighbors have power because they invested in it and you didn’t?

Texas has the only deregulated energy market in the United States. According to a simple Internet search, “One of the reasons why all of these plants are offline is because the Texas power grid is largely deregulated and privatized. As the Texas Tribune laid out in 2011, the state isolated its power grid from that of the rest of the nation because it didn’t want it to be subject to federal regulation.” That led to under investment in upgrading the grid, as profits sank due to competition.

In fact, for those savvy and wealthy enough to implement off the grid solar and wind power generation, two things that Texas has in abundance free, they would be sitting in a warm room right now.

No fake news here. Virtually all the scientists on the planet agree that we are creating unpredictable weather because of fossil fuel use. The Arctic has been heating much faster than the rest of the planet. Now that heat is apparently pushing the polar vortex south. This is just the early phases of what is to come as we refuse to implement radical change across the globe to minimize global warming. The time for half measures is over. It’s time to prepare for a most unpredictable next phase.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if heating the planet through fossil fuels leads to a mini ice age like Europe experienced from 1300 to 1850?

Welcome to the future.

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