Texas Republicans, who have been fixated in recent years on attacking LGBTQ people and immigrants while ignoring more pressing matters, are facing blowback as a terrifying winter storm has knocked out power to millions, stranding Texans without heat, water, and shelter.
The GOP controls both the executive and legislative branches of government and had ample opportunity to update the state’s failing power grid, but they’re not taking any responsibility for the climate change catastrophe. They’re blaming Democrats and vowing to continue business as usual.
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Texas’s power grid is not connected to the rest of the United States’ so they can avoid federal regulations that would require more energy efficiency and environmental controls. Instead several companies are allowed to operate independently and customers switch back and forth between providers like mobile phone services based on the deals being offered.
While the Biden administration is preparing to send power generators and diesel fuel to the state to help the three million people currently without power and at least one power company is urging their customers to flee to another provider to avoid astronomical electricity bills, Texas Republicans want residents to know they won’t budge from their inefficient and potentially deadly scheme.
“Those watching on the left may see the situation in Texas as an opportunity to expand their top-down, radical proposals,” former Gov. Rick Perry (R) writes in a blog post on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-CA) website.
“Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business. Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically, and strategically.”
While Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is calling for investigations into the power companies and other officials and pundits falsely blame solar and wind power as the culprits, none are willing to take the credit for creating their own problem.
Abbott has spent a huge portion of his time in office whipping up the culture wars and denigrating environmental protection measures. When Chick-fil-A was denied a license to operate a franchise in the San Antonio airport over the company’s history of opposing LGBTQ equality, Abbott celebrated the passage of a law to “Save Chick-fil-A” that more or less says a company’s “religious beliefs” cannot be considered when awarding city contracts.
Over the last year, Republicans have claimed Democrats want to “ban the Bible,” accused LGBTQ people of pedophilia, endorsed conversion therapy, and tried to give doctors and nurses the right to reject LGBTQ patients. A recently introduced bill would charge doctors with “child abuse” if they treat a transgender child or teen.
But Abbott will not be deterred from fixing a problem that doesn’t exist while millions of Texans suffer.
“This shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America,” he told Sean Hannity, as if Texas Republicans are taking their priorities from liberal Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-NY). “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.”
“It just shows that fossil fuel is necessary.”
The quick-witted Congresswoman caught Abbott’s nonsense and responded herself.
“Gov. Abbott doesn’t seem to have a grasp on his state, so here’s a reminder,” she tweeted. “Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels. The real ‘deadly deal’ is his failed leadership.”
Ocasio-Cortez in a separate tweet said that Abbott “needs to get off TV pointing fingers & start helping people.”
The Texas GOP is currently fixated on transgender girls’ genitals and the religious beliefs of fast food franchises. Helping people hasn’t been a priority for years.
I go offline a few days and return to a GOP Gov blaming policies he hasn’t even implemented for his own failures.
Gov. Abbott doesn’t seem to have a grasp on his state, so here’s a reminder: Texas runs 80-90% on fossil fuels.
The real “deadly deal” is his failed leadership. https://t.co/a3YoEqks7K
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 17, 2021