Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Joe Biden is facing the biggest disaster of his presidency so far


For more than thirty years, it hasn’t been as cold in Texas as it was last week. The temperature dropped to minus 25 degrees in some places. In addition to the extreme cold compared to the state’s climate, snowstorms have also exacerbated the situation.

Judgment has had an impact in a number of areas: the power supply collapsed like a castle of cards, leaving millions of households without electricity and dozens of people lost their lives due to extreme weather.

In addition, as the water pipes also cracked from the cold, there were disruptions in the drinking water supply. Many households did not have access to water at all where they were, and there they were advised to use tap water only after boiling.

The situation was not better with regard to food supply either, as most grocery stores were either closed or shoppers had emptied their shelves for a long time. In addition, coronavirus vaccine shipments are delayed due to weather conditions.

Empty shelves greet shoppers at the meat department at a grocery store in McKinney, Texas. Photo by Cooper Neill / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Who is responsible for power outages?

Although no one can be blamed for the extreme weather, the associated power outages were caused by a combination of several factors. According to the Guardian’s analysis, the Texas state’s electricity grid would normally have been able to meet the energy needs of the population, but as the temperature dropped, so did the demand for energy in parallel, which the state electricity provider ERCOT could no longer follow.

Workers are trying to repair a power line in Austin that has failed due to extreme weather. Photo by Thomas Ryan Allison / Bloomberg via Getty Images

They were unable to increase supply, mainly due to the extreme cold, the freezing of several natural gas wells and pipelines, the rendering of unusable coal and nuclear power plants, and the freezing of the blades of wind turbines.

The situation was only exacerbated by the fact that the above-mentioned energy sources, led by natural gas, make the greatest contribution to the state’s energy supply. Because there was a danger that the entire state would go dark in the dark due to the overload of the power grid, ERCOT temporarily disconnected power in parts of Texas as a precaution.

As a result of the measure, many households were left without electricity for days.

Another factor that may have played a role in the collapse of the supply system is the specific position of the Texas energy market relative to other U.S. states..

Texas’ energy network is independent of the rest of the country and connects to the two major energy supply systems that connect the rest of the country at only a few points. As a result, Texas has been able to decouple its energy market from several federal regulations, but this has just contributed to the crackdown of the system in the current situation.

El Paso, with a population of nearly 700,000, for example, was able to avoid major power outages largely because it is not connected to the Texas ERCOT network.

Unsurprisingly, the huge demand for electricity has had an impact on prices as well the wholesale price of electricity, for example, has risen by more than 10,000 percent. The United States oil production, which is one of the most important locations in Texas, though it was able to post 3 million barrels of dropouts per day.

Solution experiments

The situation has become so unmanageable that U.S. President Joe Biden declared a catastrophe in the state of Texas on Saturday.

Thanks to the move, Texas residents can apply for federal support to, for example, use temporary accommodations or carry out repairs around the house.

Biden also envisioned traveling to Texas during the week to get first-hand information on the effectiveness of federal crisis management, provided it didn’t hinder the defense.

Meanwhile, Greg Abbott, the state’s Republican governor, ordered last week that the National Guard help people who freeze in their homes due to a power outage get to heated facilities set up for shelter.

The governor initially tried to attribute the collapse of the supply system to frozen wind turbines, emphasizing the need for fossil energy sources. His allegations were finally refuted by ERCOT itself, stating that power outages can be blamed for the lack of winterization of the energy supply system, especially for fossil fuel infrastructure such as natural gas pipelines.

As for the increased electricity bills, the governor convened the state legislature over the weekend to find a solution to the crisis on a bipartisan basis. Related to this At Member State level, a congressional committee of inquiry has also been announced to investigate the cause of power outages and to investigate ERCOT’s liability in the current situation.

The Public Utilities Inspectorate has already issued two decrees banning energy suppliers from disconnecting electricity or water from those who have a debt, and stating that they cannot send energy bills to households until the crisis has returned to normal, in an attempt to do so. to alleviate the burden on the population.

A woman in Austin is just melting snow to get water after the water supply in the city was cut off due to a rupture of water pipes. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

The Texas Democrats are primarily blaming the state’s Republican leadership for the situation, saying they have not adequately prepared the care system for the winter frosts.

Although the weather conditions have turned much more favorable this week, roughly 10 million Texas citizens still did not have access to clean drinking water on Monday morning. The state is trying to help them by allocating bottled water and directing plumbers.

TOTALLY THEREFORE IT SEES THAT TEXAS IS ALREADY OVER HARD, BUT IT IS still questionable WHAT THE LONGER-TERM EFFECTS MAY CAUSE EXTREMELY COLD.

Cover image source: Anna Moneymaker-Pool / Getty Images





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