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Texas Red Alert: “Net Zero” Energy Policies Bring Blackouts and Death

Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2022
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by AMAC Newsline
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AMAC Exclusive – By Luke Allen

energy

Texas has been America’s number one oil-producing state for decades, churning out 42.7% of all domestic oil in 2021. Yet this energy-rich state has been at risk from potentially deadly rolling blackouts all summer as hot weather continues to drive up electricity demand – a darkly ironic twist on the blackouts which resulted from extreme cold last winter that left hundreds dead. Unfortunately, Texas’s energy crisis is a red alert of what all states will face if far-left politicians dedicated to so-called “net zero carbon” polices are not stopped in their efforts to radically cut the use of cheap and reliable fossil fuels and replace them with wind, solar, and other expensive and unreliable power sources.

An overview of how the electrical grid works will help explain how Texas got into this mess. The U.S. energy grid is operated by seven Independent System Operators (ISO’s). For example, the grid that covers 15 states in the Midwest is operated by the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), while the grid that covers seven states in New England is operated by Independent System Operator-New England (ISO-NE). These system operators manage the flow of electricity through the grid. They forecast demand, set wholesale prices, and ensure the grid operates reliably.

The way that electricity flows through the grid – or how demand is met and from what geographic sources – is critically important. If electricity for a region flows from just one source, power lines and substation components can overheat and fail. Another critical variable ISOs constantly monitor is “reserve margin.” Put simply, think of reserve margin as “back-up power.” For example, assume a power plant fails, or “trips,” as can happen from time to time. Reserve margin is a measure of how much electricity is available that can be put onto the grid quickly to make up for the electricity the tripped plant was producing.

Texas is unique in that its grid is isolated from the rest of the nation; it has its own operator, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT). This makes the state an excellent indicator of what can happen in the rest of the grid across the nation if other ISOs implement similar policies. Like other ISOs, ERCOT answers to the National Energy Regulatory Commission (NERC). It operates like a large non-profit, with 13 company officers and hundreds of employees, but is actually a co-op made up of all the energy producers in their region. In order to work for ERCOT, or any other ISO, one must undergo extensive training and be certified by NERC. Despite the fact that ISOs are co-ops, they don’t take orders from their member power generators. For power producers, it can feel like a voter’s relationship to the U.S. Senate.

Despite Texas being politically conservative and an energy-rich state, ERCOT has been infected with political correctness and a desire to virtue signal their dedication to green energy at the expense of sound energy policy. They bet heavily on renewable energy, particularly wind energy, and stood by while many of their reliable coal plants were shuttered. They then made several policy decisions that resulted in their reserve margin being almost completely dependent on wind and solar power. The result of these decisions threatens catastrophe since the wind often stops blowing during a heat wave and solar panels can get covered in snow in the winter.

Compounding the problem, the recent hot summer temperatures in Texas have created record demand for electricity as residents and businesses run their air conditioning non-stop. These high temperatures have also been accompanied by low or no wind, and thus, not enough reserve margin. The result has been to leave Texans under constant threat of blackouts throughout July, with more threatened in August. According to ERCOT, it was only voluntary cuts from consumers that enabled wide swaths of the state to avoid blackouts last month. At times this summer, wholesale power prices, which normally hover around $80 a megawatt, have peaked as high as $5,000 a megawatt.

During the winter 2021 blackouts, the lack of reserve margin due to frozen wind turbines and snow-packed solar panels resulted in an upset in the balance of electricity flow through the grid. That imbalance tripped power plants, exacerbating the problem. In addition, loss of power to electrically-operated valves on Texas’ natural gas pipelines would not allow the valves to open, robbing gas-fueled power plants of their fuel source. The result was millions left without power in sub-freezing temperatures that ultimately led to hundreds of fatalities. Those lives might have been saved had Texas kept its coal plants open.

Coal plants provide a reliable energy source in all kinds of weather. Unlike gas plants, which rely on a massive gas pipeline infrastructure, coal plants have coal piles on site that amount to 90 days of fuel and can continue to operate at full capacity in any kind of weather event.

In pursuit of the Biden administration’s net-zero carbon goals, however, coal plants across the nation are being shuttered and less reliable wind and solar plants are being built in their place. Twenty-six more coal plants are scheduled for premature retirement in the next two years alone – meaning that what the country has seen in Texas over the past year could soon become commonplace throughout the rest of the country, in blue and red states alike.

Biden’s Green New Deal-inspired energy policies are rapidly pushing the rest of the nation to the brink of blackouts. Political leaders in Washington would do well to gain wisdom from the bitter lessons Texas is learning the hard way.

Luke Allen is the pen name of a freelance writer and former Senior Energy Advisor in the Trump Administration.

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Myrna Wade
Myrna Wade
1 year ago

How can we the people ask/require a careful examination of policy before it is forced through?
The Chinese have “solved” the problem of the destruction of the land caused by extraction of rare earth minerals for magnets and batteries by forcing themselves on Burma. When the land can no longer sustain life, they abandon the wreckage.
Is this the “reason” the left tries to buy oil from anywhere but the USA? Oil companies are not destroying the land.
We can hope even a few democrats realize that supporting the large increase in employees for the IRS might be so expensive they will not be popular after they pass BBB inflation reduction this week.
However, they may all think they have no choice. We need a congress that continues to think after they go to Washington DC.

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

Dont think for a second that the authorities will ‘learn’ from texas experience. The green zealots see humanity as a sort of fungus attacking the earth and themselves as an antifungal medicine. Cheap and reliable energy promotes the fungus growth and so must be curtailed. Their egos are so large that they see themselves as planetary physicians.

PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Well thanks to the so-called Inflation Reduction Bill that is about to passed and signed into law, soon the entire nation will have a front row seat to experiencing the joy and wonders of rolling brown-outs and black-outs as the “new normal”. All while their energy costs in terms of electricity, heating oil and natural gas all continue to rise in price for the priviledge of sitting in the dark and freezing in winter or sitting in the dark and baking in summer. Americans will finally get to experience the wonders of a “sustainable green economy” much in the same way western Europe has endured the experience for well over a decade.

Next up on the “green new deal” will be new regulations that effectively ban most existing heating and cooling options that are common today in America. New, much more expensive and far less comfortable options will be mandated via regulations for energy efficiency and conformity to green sustainability standards. So dig deep fellow Americans, as the government will continue to use the scheme of climate change to confiscate the private wealth of the public, so it can be transferred into the hands of the more “enlightened”. All of which has also been playing out in western Europe and elsewhere for well over a decade.

As for Washington, D.C. and the surrounding suburbs, I’m quite sure they will be just fine. The natural gas and other standard power generation facilities that provide energy to the Capitol and its employees will miraculously and very quietly be exempted from the forced shift from fossil fuels to green power. Yet another perk of being part of the vast swamp that is our federal government.

pete
pete
1 year ago

I have also read a back room report that we had steam units offline that could have been brought online in winter of 2021 but NARC wouldn’t allow it…

Pcar
Pcar
1 year ago

Since ERCOT is an intra and not interstate entity, why does Texas have to abide by interstate rules and regulations? I have to believe that the Green New Deal is just one more way for the Democrats to kill America for their CCP bosses.

And these are the same people who want to store by electric cars?

Phil B
Phil B
1 year ago

Have anyone ever noticed that there are NO wind turbines on the East Coast ? Its pass time to install a few on Martha’s Vineyard and around Delaware, New York etc….. and maybe require all large buildings in NY, Washington DC, to have Solar Panels as their main power source. The White House already generates enough “Hot air” so they should be able to stay warm without heat.

Chris
Chris
1 year ago

It’s worse than indicated. Because Texas needs to carry extra electrical production capacity for when the wind doesn’t blow and/or the sun doesn’t shine we have too much capacity — which means a lot of it is sitting idle most of the time. Those idle gas and coal plants still cost money to maintain, they have to be staffed, insured, capital costs paid off, etc. All those extra expense for *non-producing* assets cranks up the price they sell electricity for when they are needed. They *have* to charge more for their electricity to cover the costs of when they are sitting idle. We in Texas generally get about 30% of our electricity from renewables so that means over 30% of our production capacity is sitting idle racking up bills they need to pay — and they charge us for it when we need them the most (not their fault).

That is why we are seeing the crazy wholesale prices, those gas and coal plants are simply recovering idle costs. We are paying through the nose for all that extra capacity. As we shift to ever higher percentages of our power coming from renewables, that duplicate production capacity is going to cost more and more.

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
1 year ago

And I am sure that adding 30 million electric Bidenmobiles will NOT affect the grid at all, correct? Because the electricity for those comes from fairy dust and “green” thoughts!

Mark Jebe
Mark Jebe
1 year ago

Texas is the state most dependent on wind, Iowa is second, Oklahoma third and Kansas fourth. At the same time failed windmills were killing Texans, Iowans, Oklahomans and Kansans were told to reduce our energy consumption or risk an identical blackout.

Windmills might make sense in Iowa, which has no commercial hydrocarbons, but Kansas and Oklahoma both produce far more oil and natural gas than they need. Why are our power boards shutting natural gas-fired plants that use a resource we own, and building windmills we have to buy from Europe and China?

The Anthropogenic Climate Change religion must be unmasked for what it is – a decades-long fraud perpetrated by people who will do anything, including mass murder to control us.

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
1 year ago

None of this is by accident or stupidity. It’s all part of the evil plan to destroy America and build back socialist as part of the one-world government. The demo/globalists are satanically controlled and will do anything to complete their agenda ASAP. Biden is just a puppet for his controllers.

Sharon Ormsby
Sharon Ormsby
1 year ago

We have been urged to conserve energy from 3-6 o’clock in the afternoons; throughout the state, with people turning up their thermostats in their homes, not using ovens, charging electric cars, etc. Each independent electric company, sends out emails, texts, etc. to all its consumers, reminding them to conserve energy, it’s ridiculous. It’s on all our electric bills and everything. What people in Texas are NOT told, is that the wind turbines, actually give their energy to the big cities and not to the areas where they are centered and are turning at all. I know this for a fact, because the Vice President over the turbines, told me herself. She flies to the area, once a month, and I’ve spoken with her at length. The only way a wind turbine will help any consumer individually, is for a homeowner to have a personal one. In other words, their very own windmill, like we used to have.

Rik
Rik
1 year ago

As I’ve stated here many times before, I will accept Climate Change policies ONLY if Russia, China, India and the rest of Europe have become involved too. Otherwise, We the People become penalized financially as sacrificial lambs to the rest of the world. I will NEVER ACCEPT becoming a SOCIALIST while I still live and breathe!

Nick Murphy
Nick Murphy
1 year ago

They have been pushing this bullpucky for almost 50 years now all it is is about control. They want Net Zero because people might die from climate change so their solution is going to kill people. sounds like a Democrat doesn’t it? Read Michael schellenberger’s book apocalypse never. He’s the one that authored the ipcc paper on climate change

LiamL
LiamL
1 year ago

Understand that big govt doesn’t give a rip if you, your grandma, or your child dies. No power for a life saving device, a fully charged car for an emergency, whatever because you’re not important, THEY are. Do you think Hitler cared, Stalin, or whatever big govt loser? Better understand where this country is headed. Oh, and your govt WILL have all their needs met plus all their comforts.

anna hubert
anna hubert
1 year ago

I grew up in worker’s paradise that was the norm hot water electricity and heat were regulated came here at 22 felt like Alice

BACKWOODS
BACKWOODS
1 year ago

They want to eliminate what a plant uses to complete photosynthesis.
The plant takes in carbon dioxide, water, and light to produce oxygen.
WAKE UP!

John Yatchak
John Yatchak
1 year ago

Be careful – this is not a gimmick. I’m republican and I am going full solar. The primary reasons are to lower my costs and become energy independent – from everyone. I produce solar from both Solar PV-electrical and Solar thermal. It provides enough energy to heat/cool my home, and provide for my electrical needs on a yearly basis, I already have solar thermal storage. I will be adding electrical storage shortly. I also have a plugin hybrid which is charged from my Solar PV system. So I generate part of my transportation energy. Should I change to a full electric vehicle, 90% of my transportation energy would be self generated. I generate enough energy that I will not need the grid. It won’t matter to me whether it’s powered by fossil or any other means as i won’t need it.

The problem with the democrats is always force. There s a transition on-going to non-fossil fuel energy. It should progress slowly driven by market forces and technological improvements. Climate change is a red-herring used be democrats to try to force rapid change. If republicans don’t understand this they will be making a huge mistake.

Lou
Lou
1 year ago

I worked closely with MISO at an electric co-op in Indiana for 13 years – as a planner. Meaning, I know exactly of what this article speaks. You can be carbon-neutral, but you wont have reliable energy. Wind farms are only depended upon for 20% of their “nameplate” value. When the wind doesnt blow, the turbines dont go.. Democrats GND is a knife in the back of American energy suppliers.

Paul W
Paul W
1 year ago

Interesting article. I agree with everything except the last sentence. This is all intentional and part of the plan. This regime is going to bury this…NOT LEARN FROM IT!

Carol
Carol
1 year ago

Biden and the climate alarmists don’t care how many people die! They worship the creature NOT the creator so no one can stand in their way of their religion! People dying, all well, just sacrifices for the greater good right? Greater good is for the Marxist elites running the show!

Kim
Kim
1 year ago

There are lots of problems Texas and other states face when relying on less-than-100%-reliable sources of energy. Why couldn’t ERCOT have purchased energy from one of the nearby ISO’s? Surely, someone must have seen the writing on the wall for those unfortunate families who wouldn’t have heat for–was it weeks? And electrically powered valves on the gas pipelines? No manual over-rides?

Didn’t anyone in ERCOT think it would be a good idea to have at least one other backup energy source in case of snow, severe cold, or silent turbines?

Where was the state government, their department of energy, social services, housing department, …where was the National Guard, FEMA?

I have no problem with renewable sources of energy and, in fact, encourage their development according to the demands of the free marketplace. But, really, not planning for a worst-case-scenario will jeopardize public safety with potentially widespread and tragic outcomes, as we saw in Texas.

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

Government’s answer for energy is, little people cut back, or we’ll do it for you. Our idiots
hold all the keys, no permits-no new power plants, wrong fuel-shut down your power plants,
buy solar or we’ll mandate it. Now add electric cars, electric only run homes and now they have a reason to control you. Enter the climate change lie and ask why the rest of the world doesn’t embrace it?
For now and the foreseeable future, just cut-back or change out our agenda driven management.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
1 year ago

What would you expect from a bunch who brought you the low flush toilet’s . ???? Kyle L.

kevin
kevin
1 year ago

Why do we keep believing this false narrative that “clean energy” is clean energy? The cost of mining the minerals required are exorbitant and environmentally destructive. What I thought was interesting was a recent article I saw in the LA TImes. The question was being asked what the State was going to do with all the solar panels that have been in use for 20 to 25 years? They are past their efficiency and need to be replaced. The question was what to do with them! Same with the blades on the massive windmills. What can be done with them? We can’t keep burring them in Wyoming or Montana…………….

Billy
Billy
1 year ago

The highest priced politicians in the world don’t understand this even though I have sent them many messages about the problems with wind and solar!!!!

David Millikan
David Millikan
1 year ago

Only one responsible for ZERO Energy is DICTATOR Beijing biden. Therefore, MORE PEOPLE DIE because of him.
DICTATOR Beijing biden cut ALL ENERGY PRODUCTION through 2024. FACT.
More people UNEMPLOYED, STARVING, LOSING HOMES, and CRIME RISES.
But MILLIONS MORE of ILLEGAL ALIEN TERRORIST INVASION that YOU the TAX PAYER is to support their lives instead of AMERICANS.
Now, DICTATOR Beijing biden signs executive order MONITORING HOW YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY. This is an ILLEGAL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL executive order with COMPLETE INVASION of PRIVACY.
Welcome to the FASCIST Liberal WORLD ORDER.
Yet, DICTATOR Beijing biden won’t SECURE the BORDERS or DRILL for ENERGY here at HOME.
But he can MILITARIZE the IRS though and ILLEGALLY RAID
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S HOME.

Ron Howard
Ron Howard
1 year ago

What can Texas citizens do to avoid these Green Energy problems? Do we need some legislation to fix the problem?

H Solomon
H Solomon
1 year ago

Hybrid Cars Clean Energy you still need electricity or can you have some Democrat blow energy/gas into you’re car. What about heating/cooling your home business etc. I have lived without AC in Europe no one had air conditioning. We are spoiled as Americans. Yes I can see
it will be a mayor issue in the future the same as water. But I am still glad to be living in the
good old USA.

Robert Chase
Robert Chase
1 year ago

Why too much power to the FED. Time to wake up and assert State powers. Politicians in DC should not be deciding what works for States.

Don Rutledge
Don Rutledge
1 year ago

Until the lunatic left in all its aspects is destroyed, we will continue to have what will amount to life-threatening events. It is clear from what is currently happening that those people want a socialist dictatorship.

Morbious
Morbious
1 year ago

For a very succinct explanation of the cancer of marxism that underlies all this please scroll down to paul es comment. Its marx, socialism, wokism and globalism in a nutshell.

papayec
papayec
1 year ago

The CCP and WEF own our current political “leaders”. Said leaders openly commit high crimes daily with praise from our corrupt media, whose leaders are similarly compromised, and with zero consequence from our thoroughly corrupt DOJ.

Larry W.
Larry W.
1 year ago

We should be “saving the planet” by getting rid of these nit wit politicians who are peddling this green deal snake oil.

Nannie
Nannie
1 year ago

The sad part is that they do not care how many people die,thats obvious. The only thing they care about is their agenda.They are selfish self cenered people and they will do anything to get what they want.THey are directly responsible for everything that is happening in this country.PrayerPrayer is the only way to stop them.This is a battle between good and evil.

Michael Lewis
Michael Lewis
1 year ago

The American people need to stand up and together and put these green weenies in their place! We have the numbers and the votes to clean this mess up. Let’s exercise them. Climate change is first a political question. .China and India are not dismantling their coal fired plants and destroying their futures and lifestyles in the name of a questionable belief mankind is responsible for climate change. Was mankind responsible for previous ice ages and tropical periods, when our population was a few hundred thousand if that?

Terri M.
Terri M.
1 year ago

I could say a million things, but there really is only a few things left to say: We are really in trouble, and we all need to do whatever we can whenever we can to get these people out of office. We also need to prepare ourselves to resist in ways that might be uncomfortable, scary or terrifying. We need to understand deep in our hearts and souls what the 1A and the 2A really mean and that we may have to use the second one even if we really do not want to.

I also think we seniors need to prepare for difficult times. We cannot count on anything, so making sure you have food, water, animal food if you have animals, TP, paper towels, dish soap, first aid supplies, cooking oil, canned food. Everyone laughs at preppers until the lights go out, then those same people realize the preppers were right all along.

Rich
Rich
1 year ago

What’s a few people dying when you can “save the planet”? These green new deal zealots actually think they are God and can achieve anything the globalists want, even if it destroys a lot of people and lifestyles in the process. So sad they don’t seem to have any common sense or conscience.

Jon Dixon
Jon Dixon
1 year ago

I agree with the premise of your discussion that politicians that don’t support fossil fuel energy sources need to be voted out…We are not in position to rely solely on “renewables”… Government policies are forcing this transformation artificially and prematurely. I also don’t sign onto to or believe in the climate change narrative that is being used to support and enforce this narrative and agenda…This is all part of a bigger comprehensive agenda to increase general Federal government power and control…I believe industry should what is reasonable to protect the environment and new innovations will come about through time and evolution through the free market…

Kurt
Kurt
1 year ago

I agree with the premise of the article but wanted to make one clarification (because facts matter). There are actually three grids that cover the United States. The eastern interconnect, the western interconnected, and as you pointed out, the Texas grid, commonly referred to as ERCOT. All three of these grids are for practical purposes isolated from one another to prevent a grid collapse that impacts the entire nation. As you also state, the eastern interconnect is operated by several entities, operating under rules established by NERC.

CountryBoy
CountryBoy
1 year ago

A couple of notes….

1) the Obama Administration shuttered at least 3 Coal Fired plants in Texas.
2) Prior to the 2021 Freeze, NONE of the members of ERCOT were Texans or lived in Texas.

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
1 year ago

And where’s all the microchips and special minerals going to come from to power the flux capacitors? China. And even then there isn’t enough to build replacement cars for everyone. And where will all the discarded batteries and waste end up? In our landfills. But this will be tomorrow’s leftist cause…

Theresa Coughlin
Theresa Coughlin
1 year ago

leaders in Washington DC would do well to get a clue about the problems with “green energy” but they WON’T because they’re too heavily invested in the scam that is the green new deal.

Corbin L Douthitt
Corbin L Douthitt
1 year ago

Capitalism has it’s ‘flaws’- if you want to consider as flaws- that not everyone chooses to participate fully and reap the benefits- ergo- they don’t want to work. But, Capitalism is the BEST and ONLY system that works. It works to elevate ANY society that chooses to embrace it and use it- especially if it a a God based society- such that the people are willing to have it regulated to prevent abuses.
NO other system approaches Capitalism in success for more people. Socialism benefits a few and leaves the vast majority in near poverty- such that ‘below average’ is the what they get. Communism benefits the leadership. period. the few loyal adherents get special powers for watching their peers to keep them in line. Average is the best there is.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

Man, oh MAN! This article should be required reading for ALL the ‘prissy’ and ‘braindead’ members of Congre$$.

HDR
HDR
1 year ago

The WHOLE climate change hysteria is a huge con game to make certain billionaires ever richer. It is ALL lies. ERCOT LIES! They are not ready for any surge in demand and have not planned for the population increases in Texas. The REAL solution to protecting our environment is the IMMEDIATE protection of ALL rain forests. They are the “air filters” of the world. But there is no money to be made in protecting rain forests!!! So you feed the gullible public lie after lie to convince them that they can actually stop global warming. The wildfires in California have now negated ALL the decades of insane schemes to control emissions that have made a handful of people incredibly wealthy. Wind generators are a joke and so are solar panels which are both plagued with problems!!

Wayne
Wayne
1 year ago

“Political leaders in Washington would do well to gain wisdom from the bitter lessons Texas is learning the hard way.”

Unfortunately, they already know that they can hurt us and control us by cutting off our energy. That’s what their goal is.

Craig
Craig
1 year ago

ERCOT is proof the Green New Deal will cause thousands of deaths nationwide. Of course, that would be ok with globalist elites who desire a huge reduction in world population.

Debra Reynolds
Debra Reynolds
1 year ago

(not being in TX) I tried to google which of the seven I’m in, in an effort to find out more information. I am left far more confused than ever. If anyone has reliable info on where the seven grids are, and how to find out more about your own, please share.

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