The power blackout in Texas has many asking how it could have happened to such an energy-rich state.
A frustrated Governor Greg Abbott said, “What is going on right now is completely unacceptable.”
In Houston, the so-called “energy capital of the world” residents lined up for supplies as officials told those with power to boil water.
The short answer as to why this devastating blackout occurred is that Texas wasn’t prepared for what, by Texas standards, was an extremely rare, extremely cold, weather event.
Power station components simply froze and stopped working.
Abbott said, “Every source of power the state of Texas has been compromised… whether it be with regard to systems freezing up or equipment failures.”
But the failing Texas power grid, coming after the rolling blackouts in California this summer, could become a pattern more states will experience, as experts warn that America’s aging power generation infrastructure, along with an increasing reliance on green energy, causes electrical grids to fail more and more often in extreme weather events.
A congressional study showed America’s electrical reliability has been declining for decades and is among the worst in the developed world.
Cities like New York have trouble keeping up with demand. Engineer Mitch Sampler said, “Con Ed has the issue that the rest of the utilities had and that is that they had never envisioned the kind of electrical growth that the city has experienced.”
Experts say the problem is that maintaining and upgrading critical infrastructure is not a popular expenditure for politicians.
Power grids don’t vote.
But the people who rely on them do, and America’s increasingly unreliable power grid is starting to hit home.