Anti-Clean Energy Messaging Fails in Texas, US

March 8, 2021

The lessons Americans, and Texans, in particular, learn from the Blackout Debacle will shape a lot of critical decisions in the near future.
Fortunately, the “wind turbines froze” narrative is not getting traction – and polls are showing the broader public gets it that all unweatherized power sources failed across the Texas grid (but not in similarly cold states nearby, with adequate preparation).

Big question in my mind: Does Texas choose to continue its “go it alone” grid strategy? That isolation plan was adopted to avoid federal regulations on electricity that could cross state lines.
If they opt for more transmission, that’s great, as it could open up Texas surplus wind and solar power to the US grid, meaning more stability, and better profits for wind generators.
If they opt to stay an electricity island – then almost certainly the way forward will call for massive investment in grid scale storage – and Texas is big enough that a move of that kind could further accelerate global markets for storage, and drive prices down even further, faster.
Either way, the clean energy revolution not likely to slow down.

Media Matters:

A poll released today from the progressive strategy firm Data for Progress found the American public did not buy into a relentless propaganda campaign from right-wing media, which attempted to blame the Texas blackouts on renewable energy sources.

Instead, the public understood the reality of what went on: All power sources in the state had failed, including the state’s primary fossil fuels.

The poll asked respondents which of the following options caused the power outages in Texas:

  1. Unusually cold winter weather conditions caused Texas power plants, including coal, natural gas, nuclear, and renewable energy sources, to go offline. This caused power outages across the state.
  2. Texas invested too much in renewable energy like wind and solar energy. Wind turbines froze because of the cold weather which led to power outages across the state.

In response, 64% of surveyed people correctly picked the first option, compared to only 28% who thought that Texas had over-invested itself in wind turbines. Even 50% of self-identified Republicans chose the correct answer, while 41% blamed renewable energy. The poll was conducted from February 19 to 22, surveying likely voters nationally via web panels.

Dallas Morning News:

Two out of three Texans lost electricity, water or both in last month’s devastating winter storm, though it’s unclear their harrowing experiences will have lasting political consequences, according to a poll released Sunday by The Dallas Morning News and the University of Texas at Tyler.

By a 2-1 margin, Texas registered voters say state and local leaders failed to adequately alert the public about the deadly punch the storm could deliver to power and water services so residents could prepare. Leaders underestimated the threat, a majority of Republicans and more than 70% of independents and Democrats believe.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s response to the arctic blast and prolonged blackouts and water outages divides Texans. The poll found 53% say the Republican governor did well or very well, while 46% say he performed either not well or not well at all.

“Memories of what leaders could have done may fade, because it is not clear that one entity is to blame,” said UT-Tyler political scientist Mark Owens, who directed the survey.

The poll, taken Feb. 22 to March 2, was conducted after the ice melted, power was restored and most residents regained water service, though some boil-water notices remained in effect. The poll surveyed 1,210 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.84 percentage points.

Interviews ended the same day Abbott lifted his July requirement of face coverings in public spaces and rolled back COVID-19 restrictions on businesses and public venues, so the poll was unable to gauge Texans’ reactions.

One Response to “Anti-Clean Energy Messaging Fails in Texas, US”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    “Republicans most likely to believe lies about” can be put in front of many a phrase


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