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Abbott knew the blackouts were coming

Good morning. Take a deep, cleansing breath, have a seat, and then read this.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s office knew of looming natural gas shortages on February 10, days before a deep freeze plunged much of the state into blackouts, according to documents obtained by E&E News and reviewed by Ars.

Abbott’s office first learned of the likely shortfall in a phone call from then-chair of the Public Utility Commission of Texas DeAnne Walker. In the days leading up to the power outages that began on February 15, Walker and the governor’s office spoke 31 more times.

Walker also spoke with regulators, politicians, and utilities dozens of times about the gas curtailments that threatened the state’s electrical grid. The PUC chair’s diary for the days before the outage shows her schedule dominated by concerns over gas curtailments and the impact they would have on electricity generation. Before and during the disaster, she was on more than 100 phone calls with various agencies and utilities regarding gas shortages.

After the blackouts began, Abbott appeared on Fox News to falsely assert that wind turbines were the driving force behind the outages.

Wind turbines were a factor, but only a small one. Wind in Texas doesn’t produce as much power in the winter, and regulators don’t typically rely on wind turbines to provide significant amounts of power. Instead, regulators anticipated that natural gas and coal power plants would meet demand.

In public, Bill Magness, then-CEO of ERCOT, the state’s electric grid regulator, didn’t seem concerned about the approaching weather. In a virtual meeting on February 9, Magness said, “As those of you in Texas know, we do have a cold front coming this way… Operations has issued an operating condition notice just to make sure everyone is up to speed with their winterization and we’re ready for the several days of pretty frigid temperatures to come our way.” During the two-and-a-half-hour public portion of the meeting, Magness devoted just 40 seconds to the unusual weather.

There’s more, so read the rest. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that Greg Abbott isn’t very good at this “being Governor” thing. Maybe we should consider electing someone else. Just a thought.

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5 Comments

  1. Jason Hochman says:

    This is what I said in the first place, only that ALL of them knew it. My city councilman Mrs. Kamin, wrote an email saying that this was gonna be a big disaster and the County Judge who Held a Grudge said that this would be like a Category 5 hurricane. AG Paxton and Ted Cruz got themselves flights out of town. The entire government knew what was going to happen. I blithely laughed at their warnings, thinking to myself “oh goodness it’s the middle of winter and we might get night time temperatures down in the teens,” and planning that I would bake ginger men, and make soup, and hot chocolate, and pop some corn, and watch some movies and read. Typical winter stuff. I had no idea what was the true nature of the disaster that my fearmongering government was cryptically warning about. I would like some acknowledgement that I have been saying that they ALL knew, not just Abbott, and even a Russian liar like I am could see through it, so no need for me to take a deep breath of surprise. IF YOU waste your time voting, you need to vote to get them all out, the City Council, the Gov., Ted Cruz, the County Judge, and you need to wake up that our leaders are not loving parents who care about their constituents.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Credit where credit is due to Jason.

    Just listened to a great track by Paul McCartney and Wings, due to his mention:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZGurhtlve8

    @ Kuff,

    ” I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to think that Greg Abbott isn’t very good at this “being Governor” thing. Maybe we should consider electing someone else. Just a thought.”

    I’m thinking you are absolutely correct. This and the off of small businesses should finish Abbott’s political career in Texas. Some things you just can’t come back from. And I say that as someone who voted for Abbott last go-round.

    He needs a primary challenger in the worst way.

  3. Jason Hochman says:

    In fact, I was against Abbott and the way that he shut down the businesses and forced everyone to wear their obedience masks, however, he has improved, and reopened everything in spite of shrill bed wetters, such as Beto, who Tweetered that Abbott sent us all to our deaths. Abbott has looked better since he stopped all of the restrictions and masks, and so forth. He’s still not great, though. Being better than Beto is a low bar.

    “Band on the Run” was my favorite song back when it was new. I like Wings better than the Beatles. Although in Russia, we were expected to like “Back in the USSR” the best.

    I just wish that everyone would start listening to my drivel…such as when I say that the entire Covid crisis has been over blown for political reasons. Time magazine detailed how they used it to get their desired election result. Hell, even Bill Mauer was saying how something like 41% of Democrats think that 50% of Covid patients require hospitalization. The reality is around one to five percent. They have been brainwashed by the fake news.

    As an Independent Fact Checker, I go to the sources, and review the evidence. This is why I was the first person to recommend wearing a mask, and the first to abandon masks when the Science showed that they don’t make a difference. Never mind what that lying Fauci said. Just the facts here.

  4. C.L. says:

    Bill, props to you for referencing a Wings song, but there’s at least a 1/2 dozen better by that band, most songs sung by someone other than Warbling McCartney, ie. Denny McClain and Jimmy McCulloch. I did hear a deep track from ‘At the Speed of Sound’ the other day that I enjoyed, however – ‘Wino Junko’

  5. policywonqueria says:

    More from the “shining the light on the blackout” department:

    “When a freak winter storm hit Texas, nine of the 13 primary generators designed to get a downed system going again were, at times, out of commission, according to grid operators. And six of 15 secondary generators—the fail-safe for the fail-safe—had periodic trouble as well, including freeze damage and problems getting fuel. Those problems haven’t previously been reported.”

    They are being reported by the WSJ in an article just published this morning:

    Rebecca Smith, ‘The Texas Grid Came Close to an Even Bigger Disaster During February Freeze: Many ‘black start’ units, which are used to jolt failed electricity systems, weren’t working.’ THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (May 27, 2021).

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-electrical-grid-bigger-disaster-february-freeze-black-starts-11622124896 [Top section of story free, remainder pay-walled]