Government Watch / Keeping America Safe / Politics

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

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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Debra Reynolds
1 month 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.

Luke
1 month ago
Reply to  Debra Reynolds

Debra,
This is Luke. Can you tell me what state you are in?

Craig
1 month 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.

Wayne
1 month 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.

HDR
1 month 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!!

Sam
1 month ago

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

Corbin L Douthitt
1 month 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.

Theresa Coughlin
1 month 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.

Robert Zuccaro
1 month 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…

CountryBoy
1 month 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.

Kurt
1 month 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.

Luke
1 month ago
Reply to  Kurt

Hi Kurt,

Thanks for reading. I think you are confusing the interconnects with the grid operators. You can google the ISO map to see what my article is describing.

Jon Dixon
1 month 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…

Rich
1 month 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.

Robert Zuccaro
1 month ago
Reply to  Rich

The left seem to mirror movies a lot… Since its common knowledge that “PEOPLE cause climate change” Soylent Green can’t be far off.

Terri M.
1 month 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.

Michael Lewis
1 month 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?

Nannie
1 month 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.

Liz
1 month ago
Reply to  Nannie

We know that the “LEFT ” agenda is DE POPULATION-DE GROWTH!!Yes..they do NOT care how many die from ANY means. DID Mao ZEDONG Care???? THIS is WHERE WE are going!! WAKE UP PEOPLE!!

PapaGrouch
1 month ago
Reply to  Liz

I wonder if they’ll start caring when their own start dying. I guess they didn’t think this one all the way through, eh George (Soros)?

Rich
1 month ago
Reply to  PapaGrouch

Even IF some of their people start dying, they will be the very last ones to die. They have a little more control than the rest of us.

CountryBoy
1 month ago
Reply to  PapaGrouch

They will just blame Republicans

Homer Howell
1 month ago
Reply to  PapaGrouch

that is an assumption that they think at all.

edward
1 month ago
Reply to  Liz

stalin didn’t care either!

Larry W.
1 month ago

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

Liz
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry W.

Can’t put all the BLAME on the politicians as “WE,THE PEOPLE” VOTED them into office.WE voted Congress AND POTUS in and WE MUST VOTE THEM OUT!!WE MUST or the COMMUNIST take over will happen for sure!!!

Rick
1 month ago
Reply to  Liz

The problem is, we didn’t vote some of them in!

Homer Howell
1 month ago
Reply to  Liz

I didn’t vote them in i’m a REPUBLIC

papayec
1 month 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.

Morbious
1 month 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.

Don Rutledge
1 month 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.

Robert Chase
1 month 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.

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