Freezing Texans are crying out after power outages—caused in part by Texas relying on green energy—have left many without power for extended periods of time. Texans across the state are reaching out to help each other, and many are demanding answers and action from their elected officials.

When a cold snap swept the state, wind turbines froze, triggering rolling blackouts while energy demands simultaneously increased.

Texans statewide have cried out.

“No electricity or water and [it’s] -2 outside,” Krista Bair of Tyler posted Tuesday morning. “Lord please take away this terrible weather!”

“Lots of people have been without power for two days now. And some without water,” posted Melissa Urban.

“Where can I get firewood?” asked Jerah Hutchins of North Texas. “My best girlfriend is pregnant, no power, and they’re out with a 5 year old.”

“More than 24 hours with no power and 4 kids and 4 dogs is a special kind of torture,” posted Shelly Troberman-Miller of Austin.

“Bundled up … still no power or heat for over 24 hours now,” Emily Brinkley of Plano posted on Tuesday morning.

“Woke up at 8:30 am with no power still,” James Welborn of Hutto posted on Tuesday morning. “Have called Oncor and no word when any type of restoration will be made.”

“No power for over 12 hours,” Sheridan King of Dallas wrote on Monday evening. “I hate this.”

Some are getting power, but only for short periods.

“Our power is coming back every 2-3 hours and for only 2-3 minutes,” wrote Marisol-Juan Rodriguez of San Antonio. “They are supposed to rotate every 10-45 minutes to a different area and when your power comes back, it’s NOT supposed to come back for 2-3 minutes!”

The power outage also affected a water treatment plant in North Texas, resulting in an advisory for citizens to boil their water.

“So, how are we supposed to boil our water when we have no gas to do that?” asked Janet Yeaney. “And no electricity either.”

One Texan expressed frustration over the lack of shared sacrifice.

“How can you ask customers to conserve and then let downtown be lit up like Christmas?” asked Mark McKamy of Fort Worth.

The Austin skyline was also well lit last night, despite Texans freezing for lack of power.

“At least Dallas went dark,” Kathy Ponce of Maypearl posted. “Can’t say the same for Houston.”

Considering frozen wind turbines resulted in rolling blackouts, Texans are angry at their elected officials and demanding action.

“I am curious, has one government official lost electricity?” asked Lynnette Lucas of San Angelo.

“I want an explanation to why the electric power grid can’t handle the demand right now,” Brad Hinrichs of Houston asked.

“Blame the elected officials who support radical environmental policies,” posted George Rodriguez of San Antonio. “Vote for more energy.”

“Can we all just admit ‘Green Power’ DOES NOT WORK and get the Texas grid back to fossil fuels, natural gas, water power and nuclear?” asked Holli Snider-Feeley. “This should have been a predictable situation and we have people freezing in their homes.”

“Green power is about putting green in pockets,” replied Sherilynn Fick. “Nothing else.”

Even during this time of crisis, the Texan spirit has caught fire as others are reaching out to help one another.

“If you need firewood and can get here, we would be glad to help,” Mike Brasovan of Annetta offered his fellow Texans. “I cleared a bunch of smaller trees last year and they are ready to be cut up and burned.”

“Any place I can rent a generator big enough to power the restaurant, so that people who don’t have heat or are struggling can come in have some free hot tea and sandwiches 24 [hours] a day?” Ram Mehta of In-Fretta Pizza in Plano asked.

Today, Gov. Greg Abbott made reforming the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) an emergency item for the Texas Legislature this session (ERCOT manages the state’s electrical grid). Speaker of the House Dade Phelan has also asked for the House State Affairs Committee and Energy Resources Committee to hold a joint investigative hearing.

For years, State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), who has also been without power, and State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) have filed legislation to strengthen the state’s electrical grid, but their bills failed to make it to a vote.

Texans may keep track of filed legislation by using Texas Legislature Online. They may also express concerns about the electrical grid to their state senator and state representative.

Robert Montoya

Born in Houston, Robert Montoya is an investigative reporter for Texas Scorecard. He believes transparency is the obligation of government.


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