Nor had she thought of gloves, a camping stove, generator, bottled water, tire chains, or any other survival supplies that came to mind when her power went out for 55 hours this week when the temperature rose to – 17 degrees Celsius fell

“Heat waves maybe I’ve never seen snow, ice I think it’s really still the Wild West “

An apocalyptic cold snap roared throughout the week in regions of the United States where winter normally whispers

By Wednesday (local time), 100 million Americans were under some sort of weather statement. At least 30 people had died of hypothermia or dangerous heating appliances to keep themselves warm

Nowhere has it been hit harder than Texas, where more than 3 million people woke up Thursday to find they were going to be spending their third day without electricity, heat, and water

When the temperature in Selina’s apartment dropped to 8 degrees Celsius, she briefly considered going into local thermal protection, but common spaces feel unsafe during the coronavirus pandemic

And the roads leading to the shelters feel just as treacherous. Selina can see upturned cars lining the unploughed roads. Water that gathers from broken pipes threatens to turn solid roads into ice rinks

“But you can see that all of the downtown area is perfectly lit – all of those huge office buildings you can see are completely empty,” she said, adding that they fit a larger pattern of clearer disorganization,

“The residential areas are all without electricity, but these buildings have the lights on It’s just annoying

“It was really difficult to get an update on what’s going on. You have to rely on your neighbors and possibly social media The politicians are just blaming each other

As the death toll continues to rise, responses from local and national leaders predict something other than aid to struggling Texans

A struggle over energy policy under the von Biden government looms like storm clouds on the horizon

There is one that covers all states between the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast. Another deals with the states between the Rocky Mountains and the East Coast

Texas, known as the “Energy State,” is so populous and rich in resources, such as oil and natural gas, that it has managed to overcome the national energy consolidation that the rest of America experienced during World War II

Its independence became an energy test of federalism, an ideological ravine that separates Republicans and Democrats

Politicians from Texas argued that the state could better regulate its own needs and experiment with the best energy solutions

In the late 1990s, they went a step further and rolled back restrictions to give the state electricity market a “competitive wholesale boost,” as historian Julie A Cohen put it

In some ways, that approach has paid off The lack of federal regulation has been a boon to ingenuity

Texas is now a leader in wind and other renewable energies figuring out how to build the most efficient energy structure that will keep customer costs low during the state’s famous heatwaves

For example, if power plants freeze in a state like Ohio, the interconnected power grid allows Ohio to intercept resources from neighboring Pennsylvania

The state never had an incentive to build emergency power grids, especially those designed for these unusually low temperatures, because scarcity leads to profit

The Washington Post reports that the price of electricity skyrocketed in the state when Texans began to freeze to death this week – it’s usually around US $ 30 / mwh

The state energy infrastructure review has been intense and bipartisan, and an investigation into grid failures at the local, regional and state levels has been requested

After a similar cold spell in February 2011, the federal government issued a report on energy shortages. Only a few of the recommendations were accepted

“Maximizing profits means you don’t fix anything unless it’s actually broken,” a state representative told the Washington Post

But now it’s hard to tell the system is far from broken. Carbon monoxide poisoning incidents hit an all-time high when Texans tried to use cars and grills for heating

Texas is becoming a test case for America’s willingness to redesign its power grid in the face of demand for a rethink in climate policy

Republican state governor Greg Abbott opened the national talks this week by blaming the state’s reliance on wind turbines, a relatively clean source of energy, for the crisis

“Our wind and sun were turned off and together they made up more than 10 percent of our electricity grid,” Abbott said in an interview with Fox News

It targeted Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic brand whose biggest political push was a $ 2 trillion climate change plan called the Green New Deal

She hit back on Twitter, saying the governor should “read a book about his own state’s energy supply”

“Texas infrastructure failures are literally what happens if you don’t pursue a Green New Deal”

US media reported that only about a third of the energy taken offline during the outages should come from wind turbines

Abbott later admitted at a press conference that the turbines weren’t the main cause of the state’s troubles, but the point had already caught on among Republican politicians

The partisan storm over the literal storm didn’t move up to category five when photos of State Senator Ted Cruz showed up on a flight to Cancun, Mexico

Cruz, who has repeatedly attacked politicians for taking vacations in times of crisis, made a statement saying he was flown down at the request of his two teenage daughters

It didn’t exactly quell claims by the Democrats that climate policy is controlled by profit-hungry elitists

Jean Michel DeGoede, an Australian living near Dallas, noted that conversations between his neighbors and friends also had a much bigger feel than Texas

“I see a lot of comments on social media about how this is all [President Joe] Biden’s fault, how it all is because Biden signed up for the Green New Deal and we can expect to see a lot more of it , “he said

Biden has not endorsed the Ocasio-Cortez climate plan, but he has pledged to make climate change a major concern of his presidency in general and the target of his next legislative move in particular

The presidential administration expects so much backlash from Republicans on this matter that they propose energy steps so small that they feel irrelevant

For example, one initiative is to regulate the amount of gas leaking from grocery store refrigerators It is a far cry from rebuilding the power grids

Paralyzed by partisan fighting, politicians don’t instill confidence in change until the next major natural disaster strikes, and Texans are literally dying in the meantime

DeGeode, who had to wake up his two-year-old daughter to bundle her up in shifts when his power went out, says it feels like “America is a third world country”

“I think there will be an investigation, there will be some results and then nothing will happen,” he said

“The federal government will blame the states. The states will blame the private organizations that run the power plants. And the private organizations will say, ‘Well this is a rare occurrence, it’s not worth the money to fix’

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World News – AU – Millions of Texans have passed days without heat in a cold moment Your Senator was on a trip to Mexico

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-19/texas-power-fails-and-people-are-freezing-to-death/13166870