Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The "Great" Texas Freeze of 2021

      When everyone was wanting to quickly usher in 2021 before 2020 was even over, My thought process was not to rush time. You don't know what the rest of 2020 could bring, and you don't know WHAT 2021 will bring as tomorrow isn't even promised!              Well here we are, going on day 3, and my family and I are 'one' of millions, sitting in our home with no electricity in below-freezing temperatures! This is utterly RIDICULOUS in the technologically-advanced 21st Century United States of America. Of course fingers started pointing. I'm from a town a few miles outside of Houston. So we fall into that General Houston Area. Of course some started pointing fingers at Houston's Mayor. Being a black mayor, sometimes he's made to take blame a little more readily. He took tremendous heat for a viral photo someone posted of Houston's skyline showing the contrast of lit skyscrapers and darkness where homes and smaller businesses would be. The truth is that a vast majority of those skyscrapers have their own backup electrical generation as they house critical infrastructure for their various operations such oil & gas pipeline and IT operations. So it's not like the Mayor let the big corporations stay lit while the people's power got turned off. The mayor of one large city isn't responsible for the entire State of Texas' electric grid. The operation of the electrical grid falls under the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, "affectionately" known as ERCOT and, of course, the Governor falls in somewhere as well. 
      Weather reports have been predicting this weather system for at least 2 WEEKS BEFORE it even made it to Texas! This, to me, makes this that much more despicable to me. I'm hearing reports of how the grid wasn't prepared for such extreme conditions. However it does freeze in Texas. This may have been one of the most extreme, but there ARE freeze conditions in the winter, so I'm not excusing such a lax in preparing for this.
   Some are blaming the green energy methods such as solar and wind farms as many of the turbines are reported to have frozen. Some were blaming natural gas liquid facilities. Nevertheless at least 2 weeks of predictions, I feel, could have bought some time for better preparations than what seems to have occurred. People "smarter than me" couldn't better prepare or did they erroneously believe they didn't need a higher level of preparation???? I believe the latter, and here we are.
     Here we are, freezing in our own homes. People have died of carbon monoxide poisoning out of sheer desperation to stay warm using improper methods. The City of Galveston, a neighboring beach town, has reported about 5 people dying. I had erroneously reported 20. My apologies. They had actually requested a refrigerator trucks that could HOLD 20 people in anticipation of that many fatalities. Thankfully, there weren't 20, but the FIVE reported was far too many. This is unconscionable. ERCOT and the State needs to answer for this in their comfortably warm accommodations. I'm thankful we have enough blankets, food and a gas range that can be lit without electricity. My heart and condolences goes out to the lives ones of those who senselessly lost their lives here. Needless to say, I'll be glad when the lights are back on.

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