Texas GOP Falsely Blames Wind Turbines For Power Blackouts
Since Friday, Texas has experienced unprecedented blizzards and power blackouts. More than 4.2 million Texans are without power and heat. Texas GOP lawmakers have been quick to blame the outages on renewable energy like wind turbines, but those claims are untrue.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) tweeted Tuesday while millions of Texans were without power, “This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn’t there when you need it.”
Crenshaw’s claims do not accurately represent Texas’s power consumption. According to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), wind power accounts for less than 7% of Texas’ power production.
Texas’ agriculture commissioner Sid Miller, who is known for posting right-wing misinformation on his Facebook page, wrote, “Insult added to injury: Those ugly wind turbines out there are among the main reasons we are experiencing electricity blackouts. Isn’t that ironic? … So much for the unsightly and unproductive, energy-robbing Obama Monuments. At least they show us where idiots live.”
Wind turbines actually have many options for winterization while natural gas pipelines do not. Texas utilities chose not buy weather-resistant turbines, which is why they are not functioning in the cold weather.
“Gas is failing in the most spectacular fashion right now,” said Michael Webber, a professor of resources and energy at the University of Texas as Austin, told The Guardian. “It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system.”
ERCOT currently has no estimate when power will be restored to the 4.2 million Texans still without power.