Texas Crisis



Plants frozen during intensely cold ice storm in Texas.

Not many were expecting ice storms to hit Texas, but almost no one predicted how much damage it would cause.

With electricity, natural gas, and running water being affected, it’s no wonder why nearly 4 million Texans are outraged towards ERCOT and Gregg Abbott. So how did this ice storm result in so much damage?

Texas is an independent country, housing its own power grid. In 1935, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act which separated Texas power from other states. In doing so, they became responsible for producing and selling electricity without help from other power grids. This became a problem once nearly every energy source ceased to the cold, because Texas couldn’t accept the help from neighboring states. Nearly 75% of Texas relies on the state’s largest power grid run by ERCOT. The 25% that doesn’t rely on this grid (El Paso, upper Panhandle, and parts of East Texas) is nearly unaffected, by getting energy from other power grids.

Temperatures as low was -19°F have been recorded in Texas so far. With such a low and supposedly unpredictable temperature, energy sources were wiped out without proper weatherization. Many believe this could have been avoided, but at a cost ERCOT didn’t want to pay. While in a conference relating to the Texas power grid, Greg Abbott said, “What happened is absolutely unacceptable and can never be replicated again.” He has demanded a change in the winterization desperately needed on Texas’ power grid to prevent this situation from recurring.

A large multitude of Texans are burning personal possessions such as books, kids toys, and furniture just to stay warm. Citizens are not only dying from the cold weather, but also CO2 poisoning from trying to stay warm in their house. At least 58 people have died as a result of the frigid weather.

Anyone who might want to help can make donations to the Austin Disaster Relief Network.