Green Party Says Texas Energy Crisis Due to Overreliance on Fossil Fuels
Highlights Need for Green New Deal and Rapid Transition to Renewable Energy
Unprecedented in more than a decade, disastrous cold signals crises of climate change and lack of preparedness. Both major parties have failed to provide infrastructure, energy policies to enable quick response and save lives.
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Holly Hart, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
Craig Seeman, Co-chair, Media Committee, [email protected], 202-804-2758
The Green Party of the United States has blasted attempts to deflect blame for the energy crisis in Texas away from the state’s overreliance on fossil fuels and desire to prioritize energy industry profits ahead of the needs and safety of residents.
“This is just the latest example of how our government’s neglect of basic responsibilities can have lethal consequences — especially in emergencies,” said Green Party Co-Chair Anita Rios.
“Black, Latino and other communities of color have been hit especially hard by the crisis in Texas, as they have been with COVID and the climate crisis. We need real, systemic change to our energy and environment policy, such as an ecosocialist Green New Deal, to ensure these communities do not continue bearing the brunt of these crises,” continued Rios.
The Greens said a Green New Deal that focuses on a rapid transition to renewable energy and eliminating fossil fuel use while ensuring that the economic needs of Americans were met was the solution both to the current crisis in Texas and to climate change.
The Greens noted that 87% of the power loss in Texas was due to a failure to properly winterize equipment at natural gas, coal, and nuclear power facilities — a decision made to cut operating costs. Energy companies in Texas neglected winterization even though a Senate investigation into a similar blackout a decade ago had identified that as a major risk.
Many homes in Texas rely upon electricity for heat. ERCOT, which manages the Texas energy system, reported that renewable energy operators, primarily wind and solar, were among the first to restore power delivery to the Texas grid. Gas and coal plants struggled to restore power to customers. Additionally, a shortage of gas supply is keeping gas power plants offline.
The crisis in Texas is also impacted by having its electric grid disconnected from the rest of the country’s electric system. State utilities and politicians wanted to avoid federal regulation and increase profits for energy companies. Other states are more easily able to obtain replacement power as part of the national grid system. They also have stronger central planning to ensure the adequacy of the energy supply.
“Extreme weather events are already the leading cause of power outages and if we don’t deal with the climate emergency, it’s only going to get worse,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Trahern Crews.
“Texas, and the rest of our country must invest in our energy system to become more resilient to extreme weather events caused by climate change. The polar vortex bringing extreme cold to much of the US is caused, in part, by the rapid climate changes already well-underway in the arctic. Texas’ overreliance on fossil fuel power generation is risky while continuing to drive climate change. Investment in more renewable energy like wind and solar, and a commitment to a more sustainable economy, is needed to mitigate these risks in the future,” said Green Party National Co-Chair Kirstin Combs.
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