More than 20 people are dead, including an 11-year-old boy who freezes in his bed from blizzards and frosts in Texas. Unprecedented weather conditions pushed up the price of electricity there to an exorbitant level. In some cases, they increased more than 70 times.
/Go Nakamura / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP /AFP
The attack of winter caused not only material losses. At least 40 people have died due to the weather in the US, including more than 20 in Texas alone.
One of the youngest victims of the bitter frost is 11-year-old Cristian Pavon Pineda. The boy died in his own bed in an unheated mobile home where he lived with his family.
According to American media reports, the cause of the boy’s death was hypothermia. There had been no electricity in the trailer for two days and it was freezing cold outside. More about the case polsatnews.pl.
Meanwhile, electricity prices in Texas have skyrocketed.
The American media gives particularly striking examples of increases. He talked about it, among others one of the residents of the Dallas suburbs.
“My savings are gone. I can’t help but it destroyed me,” said the New York Times, 63-year-old army veteran Scott Willoughby, who lives on welfare benefits. He almost emptied his savings account and had to credit his $ 16,752 electricity bill. This is 70 times more than usual for all media combined.
In turn “Newsweek” describe the situation of Royce Pierce. He owes the energy company over 8,000. USD for electricity consumption. For comparison, last month he paid about $ 387.
This sharp rise in costs was condemned by Republican Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“It is unacceptable that Texans, who have suffered from frost for days, now suffer without electricity or heat at the expense of soaring energy prices,” Abbott said in a meeting with lawmakers on Saturday.
The debate focused on how to “reduce the burden so Texans do not have to pay unreasonable utility bills that they cannot afford.”
“We are striving to solve the problem quickly and throughout the week we will continue to work together on solutions that will help families in Texas and ensure they do not get bogged down with sky-high energy bills,” said Abbott, quoted by Newsweek.
In the last week, more than 4 million residents of the state were without electricity and heat. Most of the houses have recovered their energy supplies by Saturday. Millions of Texans, however, face a crisis related to the lack of drinking water.
According to the NYT, prices in Texas are in part the result of an extremely unregulated electricity market. This enables customers to choose from around 220 retailers in a completely market driven system.
In the wake of the crisis and the collapse of energy systems, the state’s Public Service Commission ordered the price cap to be raised to a maximum of $ 9 per kilowatt hour. This resulted in a colossal jump in costs.
As noted by the New York daily, Harvard professor of global energy policy William W. Hogan, who is considered the architect of the Texas energy market design, found that high prices reflect market behavior as assumed. Energy consultant in Portland, Oregon Robert McCullough found it “idiotic” to allow the market to conduct energy policy with little consumer protection.
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