Source: The Washington Post
“Our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10 percent of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis,” Abbott continued, arguing that this showed that “fossil fuel is necessary.”
As many others have noted, this is wildly misleading. Most of Texas’s power generation comes from fossil fuels; nearly 60 percent of its 2020 generation was from coal and natural gas. The majority of the production that went offline was from natural gas plants. As Bloomberg News reported, wind made up a disproportionately small part of what was taken offline due to the freezing conditions.
A decade ago, the state was warned that it should weatherize its systems. It generally didn’t, though there are exceptions.
So what do you do if you’re a political actor? If you’re not willing to go full Tim-Boyd-Lord-of-the-Flies, you redirect people’s anger elsewhere. Abbott and Crenshaw were just part of the flurry of conservatives using the moment to bash renewable power, a bit of rhetorical judo leveraging the right’s ongoing skepticism of wind and solar power and climate change — itself a product of decades of concerted focus on bolstering fossil fuel producers by businesses and politicians in fossil-fuel-rich states like Texas. Fox News ran multiple segments attacking renewable energy; the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page made the same argument even as its reporting offered a more accurate presentation of the problem.
Lying about “green energy” is a winning strategy in the short-term, but it doesn’t help actually fix the problem which is lack of oversight. Folks who pay attention to this type of stuff are doomed to repeat the mistakes. The folks in power who spread the lies will be long gone by the time the next disaster occurs because of their lies.