Texans are suffering.
Thanks to a rare and devastating winter storm, millions of citizens have gone without water, heat, and electricity for days. At first, it seemed a minor setback for a state that has positioned itself at the heart of American energy production. Now, it’s looking more like a systemic failure.
That’s why Texas politicians began to pass the blame from their independent, corporate-run energy grid to an easy scapegoat — green energy. Governor Greg Abbott himself is leading the charge, claiming that the widespread power outages were due to wind and solar power inadequacies. He recently claimed that green energy, “thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power in a statewide basis.”
It’s a bold claim to suggest that frozen wind turbines and solar panels have plunged millions into days worth of darkness. So bold that, before his media appearance, Governor Abbott’s reasonings for the power outages were completely different.
“It’s frozen in the pipeline. It’s frozen at the rig. It’s frozen at the transmission line,” Gov. Abbott said in an interview with WFAA. “The natural gas providers are incapable of providing the natural gas that feeds into the generators that send power to people’s residences.”
So, is it green energy or fossil fuel failures causing deaths across the lonestar state? Let’s take a look at the numbers and see.
For starters, according to Michael Weber, an energy resources professor at the University of Texas at Austin, “Texas is a gas state.” As of today, only 20% of Texas’ electrical energy supply comes from renewable sources. About 10% comes from nuclear power, with nearly 70% coming from fossil fuels. During this crisis, Texas is missing 46GW of production, with 30GW lost from fossil fuel sources.
So why are Texas politicians trying to put the blame on green energy? The answer is clear — they’re trying to protect the fossil fuel industry from the failures it has created, both in climate change and in power outages.
To read more on the numbers behind the Texas energy crisis, click here.