The week of February 15th through the 19th, Texas and the surrounding states saw record low temperatures and power outages. Many local power grids were overwhelmed leaving many families without light and heat. At least 80 people perished across 11 states and 47 in Texas alone. This tragic series of events was caused by a multitude of things, can they be directly traced and is there one suspect?
Much of the blame has been placed on the power companies, which in Texas and much of the south, are controlled a bit differently than in other states. During the storm almost 50% of power generation stations had gone offline and had failed to pay over a quarter of a billion dollars in energy services. Texas power companies are being sued for 2 billion dollars over failed payments and services.
Texas has had a tough, while lucrative, relationship with energy and its production. Texas power companies have made claims like, “ Most Texas power comes from wind farms.”
While not false that some Texas energy comes from wind power, much of the Texas economy is based in and relies on non-renewables. American, domestic oil production is centered heavily in Texas and employs hundreds of thousands of workers. Much of those companies are privately owned, as are the power companies in charge of the recent power shortages.
A change may be necessary in the Texas state legislature which places a large importance on public protection with less of a focus on greed and privatization. I find it hard to believe that anything would alter the massive oil and gas for fear of upsetting shareholders. Like many other things in the modern world, money comes before natural wellbeing or protection and rarely is the general census or betterment the focus of attention.
While not trying to take attention away from the ones who suffered the hardships of the power outages, the Lubbock area was less affected although schools shut down for a whole school week. This freezing February spring break left many wondering the effects of this impromptu week off. Will some of those days transfer to the end of the year and stretch it farther to summer? Many teachers treated it as if it hadn’t happened and shifted calendars a week forward. As the final months of school drag on that time has to go somewhere and some time may have to be compensated for. Hopefully changes are made for the better for texas and all other affected states so future events of this scale can be avoid