Millions of Texas residents are without power after winter storm pummels area

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Oya who writes with us lives in Houston and she has been dealing with Internet outages, cell reception spottiness and low water pressure. She has not lost power yet but her mom and aunt have. It’s treacherous to drive there and I’m waiting to hear back from her on if her mom and aunt have power back yet or if they were able to make it to her house. They cannot go out for food because all the stores are closed. Our friends LaUnica Angelina, David and Marigold also live in Texas. They’re all dealing with either full power outages or rolling blackouts and very cold homes after most of that state’s power grid failed due to a rare winter snap hitting the area. The outages are also due to the fact that Texas is on its own power grid and is not connected to the national grid. It’s been privatized and is now mostly run by an agency called ERCOT. Obviously ERCOT was not prepared at all to deal with freezing weather. People are suffering and at least 20 people have died. The Washington Post explains why Texans are without power – because other states can’t share power since their energy agency is cut off from the grid.

Millions of Texans have been plunged into darkness as the state’s electric grid strains to provide power during a historic cold spell.

The bone-chilling winter weather is bringing into stark relief the vulnerabilities of the electricity system as over 4 million customers in Texas remain without power Tuesday morning in a state that prides itself as the energy capital of the world.

A cocktail of high power demand, strained gas supply, iced wind turbines and an independent streak that bleeds into how Texas runs its grid has led to widespread and persistent outages stranding people without power to hunker down in their homes as temperatures remain dangerously below freezing.

Much of the situation behind the blackouts remains unknown. But the outages in Texas, coming just months after rolling blackouts roiled California during another extreme weather event, highlight how the changing climate is poised to test the mettle of the power sector — both in Texas and throughout the rest of the country…

True to its nickname, the Lone Star State runs its own self-contained electric grid. That lets Texas avoid dealing much with the federal government when it comes to its grid. But that gives the state’s grid operator few ways of drawing power from neighboring states during times of extreme energy demand.

“One state over might be doing just fine where Texas could be struggling because there’s no way to move power between those two states,” said Joshua Rhodes, a researcher at the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin.

[From The Washington Post]

To all our friends in Texas, I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this and that your governor is a complete ass. I’m hoping that your power is restored quickly and that you and all of your loved ones are safe and stay warm. This is outrageous and you should not have to be dealing with this.

Thanks to LaUnica Angelina for many of these tweets and links!

— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) February 16, 2021

As a Texan, yes, I'm certainly not built for this. I don't even care.

— 𝐓𝐇𝐎𝐌𝐀𝐒 𝐁𝐋𝐀𝐂𝐊 ☩ (@ThomasBlackGG) February 16, 2021

— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) February 16, 2021

— The Associated Press (@AP) February 17, 2021

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