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After ignoring the nursing home crisis in New York and power crisis in California, House Democrats have suddenly decided that they’re interested in investigating the power crisis that’s erupted in the Republican-led state of Texas.
During her weekly press briefing Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed that the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is currently led by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone, will be launching an investigation into the situation.
“I believe that the Energy and Commerce Committee will be taking up some form of, when I say, investigation, I mean, a look into it to see how things could have turned out better and will turn out better in the future,” she said.
“My daughter’s home has no water, pipes are breaking all over because of the cold. Again, they can handle it, but a lot of people can’t. For my family, it’s one thing. But for people who don’t have so many options, it’s just heartbreaking.”
Some found it odd that Democrats haven’t expressed a similar interest in New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s funneling of coronavirus patients into nursing homes and subsequent cover-up, let alone into California’s endless power outages.
As noted by conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, there’s a difference between Texas’s power grid failing one time amid a rare winter storm, and California’s grid failing every summer amid the state’s perpetually hot weather.
People comparing TX energy issues with CA energy issues should remember that TX’s energy grid buckled under a once-in-a-century storm. CA’s energy grid buckles nearly every year because it is hot every single year during the summer, and always has been.
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 17, 2021
The last time Democrats pursued an investigation into California’s energy grid was in 2002, at which point in time a Republican had been governor.
“I stand with my colleagues today to call – yet again – for a thorough investigation and analysis of the energy crisis in California. We must know what went wrong and how to fix it before plunging ahead with restructuring the electric utility industry. We must we look before we leap,” then Democrat Whip Pelosi said at the time.
Dovetailing back to the present, Texas has experienced devastating, enduring power outages amid a winter storm. As of Thursday, hundreds of residents were still reportedly without power.
Part of the Democrats’ sudden interest in investigating actual crisis — versus fake ones — may be because of their belief that the state’s reliance on traditional energy sources is to blame for its energy system failing amid a winter storm.
This belief is based on a disputed claim from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot) that failures in the state’s fossil fuel systems are primarily to blame.
The claim is disputed by The Wall Street Journal, which noted in an editorial that, far from failing, the state’s fossil fuels jumped into overdrive to hold off the crisis as long as possible — all as nearly 100 percent of the state’s wind turbines failed.
“Between 12 a.m. on Feb. 8 and Feb. 16, wind power plunged 93% while coal increased 47% and gas 450%, according to the [Energy Information Administration],” the board wrote.
“Yet the renewable industry and its media mouthpieces are tarring gas, coal and nuclear because they didn’t operate at 100% of their expected potential during the Arctic blast even though wind turbines failed nearly 100%.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson argued that fossil fuels aren’t to blame for the failure.
Carlson argued on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that Texas had long been known for its mass fossil fuel/natural gas reserves and production, but that increasingly over the past several years, the state began building wind farms that now account for roughly a quarter of all of its energy production.
But when the wind farms failed under extremely cold conditions, it left Texans with no other reliable source of energy, leading to blackouts that put residents’ lives at risk.
His numbers weren’t wrong.
“Frozen wind turbines have caused almost half of Texas’s wind generation capacity to go offline in the midst of an ‘unprecedented storm’. … Wind turbines accounted for almost a quarter of Texas’s energy in 2020, making it the second-largest power source after natural gas,” The Independent confirmed Tuesday.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) February 16, 2021
But none of this seems to matter.
“This is a crisis, not fodder for an anti-renewable energy campaign. This was a failure to consider our rapidly changing climate and the extreme weather that comes with it,” Pallone said in a statement to E&E News.
“It was a failure to recognize that the 100-year storms of yesterday may now be the every 10-year storms of today. It’s a reality check that we need to make our electric grid and energy infrastructure far more resilient to climate change.”
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