Texas’ GOP Chair, Allen West, rather than do something to help his constituents who are freezing, starving, and going without water, has decided to ride the coattails of news that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has raised $2 million for Texans by attacking her and clean energy with false facts. He used the moment to incorrectly blamed green energy as the reason why the under-regulated free-market Texas grid failed.
In a thread on Twitter, West went off on AOC with a flurry of misinformation. Here’s what he said:
“I hear that New York progressive socialist Rep. @AOC is coming to Houston with $2M for weather relief. The gesture is appreciated but it doesn’t remove the fact that her green new deal philosophy failed Texans.
“Since 2006 Texas has given $19B in taxpayer subsidies to wind energy companies. Over the past 2-3 years, Texas has tripled our dependence on wind energy to 23-25 percent of our energy distribution system.
“What Texans found out this week is that wind energy, and solar, are not reliable, dependable, and available energy resources. Therefore, ma’am, you’re not going to buy off Texans for your green new deal energy pipe dream for $2M.
“Texans appreciate your assistance but don’t want to be part of a partisan political photo opportunity. If you truly cared you would have anonymously sent the check, instead of making it about you. Next time you come to Texas bring us the $19B we wasted on wind energy.”
As we’ve reported already, and many others have as well, far more natural gas went offline than wind power. Thermal power plants were down due to the extreme cold, many wind turbines were still online and producing more power than anticipated due to the strong winds, and the frozen wind turbines could have done much better if Texas had planned accordingly.
It’s also worth noting that oil & gas have gotten far more in subsidies than solar & wind power ever will.
The Green New Deal is NOT even in effect. You’re just flat out lying bc you think your voters are morons.
— Scott Nevins (@ScottNevins) February 20, 2021
Wind Turbines Work In Antarctica, Why Not Texas?
Near the U.S. McMurdo Station, wind turbines provide enough electricity to power 100 American homes. That station is in Antarctica, where the temperatures often drop lower than the average of zero degrees Fahrenheit. Mashable noted that they thrive in places much colder than Texas. Vijay Modi, a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University’s School of Engineering, breaks down how this is possible. (It’s science, really.)
“Cold climate weatherized wind turbines are not rocket science,” he said. The keyword here is “weatherized.” The Texas Tribune pointed out that Texas leadership failed to heed the warnings, which left the state’s power grid vulnerable to winter extremes.
The article noted that in 2011 Texas faced a similar storm that froze its natural gas wells and affected wind turbines and coal plants. This led to power outages across the state. It’s been over a decade and Texas leaders still have not winterized their electricity generation plants — renewable or fossil-fueled. ERCOT’s Woodfin noted that there isn’t any requirement to prepare power infrastructure for extremely low temperatures. “Those are not mandatory, it’s a voluntary guideline to decide to do those things,” he said. “There are financial incentives to stay online, but there is no regulation at this point.”
West’s Tweets Are Shameful
As Texans of all political spectrums freeze or face insane price gouging from their energy providers, West sits there pointing fingers at AOC for trying to aid the people. He acts as if she is giving him the $2 million and not actually using that money to buy food, water, blankets, and such for those who need it to survive.
The GOP is showing its true colors — its leadership doesn’t even care if Texas freezes to death. But they’re still eager to blame AOC, the Dems, and the Green New Deal — all without warrant.
Featured photo by nrkbeta on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)