Political Battle for Texas Heats Up With Rising Temperatures

Texas Democratic gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke supports green energy, but that hasn’t stopped him from attacking Gov. Greg Abbott because of potential blackouts associated with the state’s dependence on wind power.

With an estimated temperature of more than 100 degrees in Texas on July 11, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) issued a conservation appeal to the public.

ERCOT, which manages the Texas electrical grid, asked residents and businesses to volunteer to conserve electricity by July 11 between 2-8 p.m., when a shortage of reserve capacity was predicted.

Wind turbines are expected to produce less than 10 percent of their capacity, according to the agency.

The decline in wind production combined with extreme heat and record demand has prompted calls for Texans to reduce electricity use. The agency said no widespread unemployment was expected.

Photo by Epoch Times
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden then spoke after he was endorsed by former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) at a campaign rally in Dallas on March 2, 2020. (Richard Rodriguez/AP Photo)

O’Rourke, who vowed to combat climate change by trying to eliminate all emissions from the oil and gas industry, wasted no time in blaming Abbott for the strain on the Texas electrical grid, which is unique in its independence from the rest of the United States.

“We can’t rely on the grid when it’s hot. We can’t rely on the grid when it’s cold, ”O’Rourke posted on Twitter. “We can’t count on Greg Abbott. It’s time to vote for him and fix the grid. ”

Abbott’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, he supports oil and gas production in Texas along with its jobs. He vowed to protect the industry from the federal government’s climate reach.

O’Rouke supports the Texas Climate Jobs Project, which is similar to the Green New Deal. The project wants to shift oil and gas jobs to green energy jobs and eliminate reliance on fossil fuels.

He also wants to remove hope in Texas on its own grid. Instead, he wants to connect Texas to the national grid “to overthrow power when needed.”

The pursuit of green energy will only exacerbate the Texas grid, according to some.

David Blackmon, an independent energy analyst and consultant based in Mansfield, Texas, told The Epoch Times that national grids have their own demand problems.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott at a press conference at the Capitol in Austin, Texas, on June 8, 2021. (Montinique Monroe/Getty Images)

“I laugh when I hear that,” he said, adding the problem in Texas comes from relying on unreliable energy like wind.

Democratic policies restricting oil and gas production will only exacerbate Texas grid problems, Blackmon said.

Texas State Rep. Said. Briscoe Cain (R) to The Epoch Times in a text with a plan for the next session of the legislature to look at building more natural gas plants in Texas.

The Lone Star State produces the most natural gas in the United States and holds extensive oil and gas reserves.

“Wind farms are a scam,” Cain texts.

So how did Texas, with its energy, get to the point of pleading for its citizens to conserve energy?

Incentives for generating more wind power have increased, but the same cannot be said of thermal-power generators that typically use natural gas.

Cain noted that federal production tax credits have made wind farms too profitable not to be built.

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Pike Electric service trucks lined up after a snow storm in Fort Worth, Texas, in Feb. 16, 2021. (Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

The Texas grid is primarily powered by natural gas.

By 2020, it will generate 46 percent of the state’s electricity. But the share of the renewable power grid has been rising over the past decade where wind power now reaches about 23 percent — more than coal (18 percent), nuclear (11 percent), and the rest from in solar and other sources.

Blackmon said the legislature wants to add more gas -powered plants after Winter Storm Type that brought death and destruction to Texas in February of 2021. But that provision from the bill ended up passing, he said. .

“Gov. Abbott — I don’t know what he’s thinking, ”Blackmon said. “We are making the same mistake as California. Nothing gives you air. ”

Darlene McCormick Sanchez