As the rest of us watch in horror as the good citizens of Texas freeze and go bankrupt because the Texas-centric power grid cannot handle the wrenching cold weather brought on by climate change, Texas Republicans are proving they should be nowhere near elected office.
“Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business,” former Governor Rick Perry said to Kevin McCarthy. “Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically, and strategically.”
A resilient grid? Really? There's nothing at all resilient about the Texas grid right now. It has completely, totally, and utterly failed the citizens of Texas, who not only have to contend with the prospect of freezing to death while having no water for anything, but also face outrageous power bills for the little bit of power they did manage to get. Rates are expected to increase at least 300 percent just for the last several days, leaving freezing Texans, many of whom are out of work, with a stupidly high power bill, all of which is fine with Texas Republicans.
The New York Times reports that the Texas grid is functioning exactly as designed, according to Harvard professor of global energy policy William W. Hogan, who designed it. Hogan tells The Times the state's energy market has functioned exactly as it was designed.
Hogan explains that "when electricity demand increases, so too does the price for power. The higher prices force consumers to reduce energy use to prevent cascading failures of power plants that could leave the entire state in the dark, while encouraging power plants to generate more electricity."
Yes, read that again. That's the Koch/Exxon-Mobil statement of purpose in a nutshell right there, except the single point of failure is that there is an unprecedented deep freeze which has disabled the grid and disrupted that market.
“It’s not convenient,” Professor Hogan shrugged. “It’s not nice. It’s necessary.”
If I was to point fingers (and I am), they would all point at Republicans, just as Joy Reid explained on The ReidOut Wednesday night as she drew a straight line from the dreadful former mayor Tim Boyd of Colorado City, TX to Rick Perry to Governor Abbott to all-around libertarian whack Ron Paul and Republican insistence on terrible, awful, bad government.
"The absolute worst is when you realize that that [libertarian] kind of ideology has been put into actual practice," Reid said.
"Just take a look at the Texas power grid. It's the only state-run system that is free from federal control," she explained. "Texas Republicans proudly deregulated the power market years ago, so that the energy companies, not state regulators, could manage and maintain their power plants."
Of course, those companies didn't bother to winterize their equipment, because why prepare for an unlikely disaster when the free market said they could just charge low prices instead of prioritizing reliability?
"Call it the Texas Enron way," Reid snarked."But those choices, that deregulation has led us to where we are now. With millions of Texans struggling to stay warm, safe, and alive."
Taking another shot at Rick Perry, Reid went straight for the heart: "And yet, even in the face of that kind of despair, one Texas politician says that Texans would happily endure more nights of freezing agony rather than welcome federal oversight."
It's worth remembering that Rick Perry was in charge of that federal energy policy and regulation he so fiercely eschews, too.
Republicans are a dinosaur, especially in the face of disaster after disaster at the hands of these libertarian idiots who want the "markets" to decide who lives and dies, who can keep their home and who can't, all in the name of being free from regulatory oversight while they deny the science which says future disasters are going to be more frequent and destructive than the last because the earth is warming at a breakneck pace.
Fire every last damn one of them, Texas. It's time to admit they've failed the state and the people who live in it miserably, all in search of the Almighty Dollar.
UPDATE: Classic Example #Umpty-Zillion: Ted Cruz and family jetting off to Cancun, leaving Texans to freeze without one of their Senators to help coordinate federal assistance.