GOP Full Of Hot Air About Texas Blackouts And By Hot Air We Mean Really F'ing Shameless Lies
At least three million Texans still don't have power, and a winter storm warning remains in effect for the Fort Worth-Dallas area until Thursday. People aren't just cold and inconvenienced. People have died.
Republicans aren't quick with relevant solutions for dire problems, but they can always find something to blame. This time the scapegoats of choice are wind and solar power, which is convenient because Republicans don't like wind and solar. Whew! Who cares if it's another Big Lie? Certainly not Texas Governor Greg Abbott. During an interview Tuesday with Sean Hannity, he blamed frozen wind turbines for his state's woes.
This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America. Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis. ... It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.
This is an impressive set of misleading statements and outright lies. The Green New Deal isn't actually law yet, but Republicans are already claiming there are death panels. If it seems suspicious that just 10 percent of the power grid is somehow responsible for 100 percent of the state's power loss, that's because Abbott is leaving out important details, like facts. The governor's own energy department has outlined how the statewide outages are the result of Texas failing to winterize its power-generating systems, including fossil fuel pipelines that also froze.
I go offline a few days and return to a GOP Gov blaming policies he hasn’t even implemented for his own failures.… https://t.co/xkVrgsv8iN— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1613537810.0
The Washington Post reports that "the loss of power to the grid caused by shutdowns of thermal power plants, primarily those relying on natural gas, dwarfed the dent caused by frozen wind turbines, by a factor of five or six." Ronald Bailey at Reason noted that winds from the storm were actually "boosting power production from the unfrozen coastal wind turbines and thus offsetting some of the other power generation losses."
Alaska, Canada, Maine, Norway, and Siberia have more winter-resistant systems, but they are also Alaska, Canada, Maine, Norway, and Siberia. It's easy for Texas Republicans to pin the blame on wind and solar. It's a little harder to decide whether to invest in necessary winterization methods that are actually required in the rest of the country from whose grid Texas seceded. Power plants had no financial incentive to prepare for a snowy day in Texas, and once everyone has power and is warm again, they'll dismiss the winter storm as a once-in-a-generation event. Preference for cheaper energy RIGHT NOW is how we got in this mess.
The Green New Deal demands that we accept climate change is real and more severe weather is the inevitable result. (It was 32 degrees in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, breaking the previous record of 38 set in 1899.) But no one wants to listen when Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warns that Krypton is doomed. They'd rather just lie. The white supremacist on the Fox News 8 p.m. slot claimed that Texas had become "totally reliant on windmills" for power, which is absurd.
Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted yesterday: "This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn't there when you need it."
The truth is there's a world surplus of natural gas, much of it from Texas, but the frigid weather prevented the state's power-generating operators from turning the gas into electricity. (They're also paying out the yang for it, because of "trading" fun, but that's a different topic.)
In the single-digit temperatures, pipelines froze up because there was some moisture in the gas. Pumps slowed. Diesel engines to power the pumps refused to start. One power plant after another went offline. Even a reactor at one of the state's two nuclear plants went dark, hobbled by frozen equipment.
Yet Republicans are shamelessly pushing the narrative that natural gas is reliable, when it just failed in Texas.
Daines shared a photo of a helicopter supposedly de-icing Texas wind turbines. It's actually an image from Sweden during the winter of 2014. There was once a time when this would've been career-ending.
Rep. Lauren Boebert took the disinformation further Tuesday when she tweeted: "You know how you unfreeze frozen windmills? By sending up a helicopter that shoots out chemicals onto the blades. You need fuel for the helicopter. Keep that in mind when thinking how "green" windmills are."
Oh, if only Boebert had a mind to keep things, but there's no room for storage in her head. A functioning wind turbine can “pay back" the cost of emissions from the helicopter in just 22 minutes. Not surprisingly, Boebert is also not up to date on wind turbine technology. Many now have dual de-icing systems. Also, wind turbines don't spew pollution that can poison soil, water, and the air.
Boebert doesn't know what she's talking about. She doesn't even know what she doesn't know. Republicans are typically responding to a disaster with either willful lies or authentic stupidity, and that's truly a “deadly deal" for America.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).