As a deep freeze continues to pummel the central United States, millions of Texans are without power and facing potentially life-threatening temperatures.
As temperatures plummeted across the state, the frigid weather booted numerous coal, gas, nuclear, and wind power generators offline, resulting in the widespread blackouts.
The unprecedented weather is affecting all sources of power in the energy-rich state, with expert Jason Bordoff telling CNN:
"The extreme cold is causing the entire system to freeze up. All sources of energy are underperforming in the extreme cold because they're not designed to handle these unusual conditions."
In the face of these dire circumstances, Republicans of all stripes are falsely blaming green energy policies, such as wind turbines, for being unequipped to handle the temperatures.
It takes a special kind of stupidity to run out of energy in Texas. @TuckerCarlson does a great job here of exposin… https://t.co/LhNNhfAw6O— Lauren Boebert (@Lauren Boebert)1613492524.0
Trump on wind turbines: "It's got a lot of problems. Associated Press: "He's exaggerating the downsides." Texas: No, he's not.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes)1613485672.0
"My understanding is, the wind turbines are all frozen." - Texas Public Utility Chair DeAnn Walker. Can we please… https://t.co/R63otqanhT— Jim Rickards (@Jim Rickards)1613443864.0
In reality, the culprit is much more complicated.
As John Timmer of Ars Technica points out, the majority of Texas is powered by an isolated state grid run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) with little integration across neighboring areas.
"While some early reports indicated that frozen wind turbines were causing significant shortfalls, 30GW is roughly equal to the entire state's wind capacity if every turbine is producing all the power it's rated for. Since wind in Texas generally tends to produce less during winter, there's no way that the grid operators would have planned for getting 30GW from wind generation[.]"
He goes on to point out that, though wind turbines are experiencing outages like all other power sources in the state, these turbines are outperforming their estimates.
As for those on the right asserting that blackouts were due to unsatisfactory green energy policies, Twitter took the wind out of their sails.
It's confirmed: The blackouts in Texas are primarily because of frozen instruments at gas, coal and nuclear plants… https://t.co/BXMaFGxR7y— Catherine Traywick (@Catherine Traywick)1613493164.0
To make clear. GOPrs like @JohnCornyn have been using freezing of TX wind turbines to attack renewables as Texans d… https://t.co/bSUs17S4rG— Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald (@Kurt "Masks Save Lives" Eichenwald)1613508950.0
for those of you brilliant folks who think there’s some other reason why wind turbines are unreliable in the cold w… https://t.co/XpMVNPUHQw— hasanabi (@hasanabi)1613492660.0
there have been wind turbines in antarctica for over a decade https://t.co/kOEu9TX4oK. https://t.co/NfloLkrQJf https://t.co/VE3zW14bXm— John Whitehouse (@John Whitehouse)1613491668.0
As I just learned, the problem in Texas is NOT wind. Wind turbines are down, yes, but not that many of them—and the… https://t.co/6BDvjKtyBO— Louisa 🌈👭 (@Louisa 🌈👭)1613487378.0
millions of people in Texas without electricity so of course this must somehow be the fault of the Green New Deal,… https://t.co/ITL03VVzvX— Matt Binder (@Matt Binder)1613482268.0
Sadly, many are still succumbing to the rampant misinformation.
That's what happens when you invest in a fantasy. https://t.co/N6Ofz64uzh— Ben Crabtree (@Ben Crabtree)1613449292.0
President Joe Biden granted the state's request for disaster assistance earlier this week. Additional ways to assist those affected by the frigid temperatures can be found here.