Back in February, time in Texas froze over, literally.
More than 4.8 million homes and businesses were left without power, some for several days, and more than 100 Texans died as Senator Ted Cruz escaped with his family to Cancun, Mexico for some warmer weather.
Seven months later KRHD News asked his thoughts regarding the failings of Texas’ power grid during that time.
“All of us as Texans were horrified and disappointed that when we had a historic freeze that our power grid failed,” said Ted Cruz, Texas U.S. Senator. “For a state that is the energy capital of the world, not to be able to turn our lights on [and] not to be able to have heat going, was I think embarrassing for the state of Texas. It was unacceptable.”
The Arctic blast highlighted the Texas power grid's vulnerability as exposed pipes at a nuclear power plant froze over.
“We discovered that the wind energy production, which provides a significant amount of electricity normally, those windmills weren't weatherized and so they froze, and the wind production plummeted,” said Sen. Cruz. “We discovered with natural gas, that for a number of places that were producing gas, electricity was cut off so that they couldn't stay warm. They, in turn, froze which then cut off the gas to provide more electricity.”
As we prepare for another winter season, this year's Farmer’s Almanac predicting temperatures being "chilled to the bone," with precipitation being "near-normal” here in Texas.
Since February’s arctic blast, state lawmakers are responding to the deadly winter storm, making a few key changes to the state’s power grid during the legislative session.
“I’m glad the state legislature addressed it, had hearings on it, examined the policy, and passed reforms to improve the reliability of the grid,” said Sen. Cruz. “We need to have a grid that is reliable. The lights stay on.”
While critics point the finger at the power grid failing on the state wanting to deregulate electricity decades ago, Sen. Cruz’s focus is keeping the cost of energy affordable for all Texans.
“We don't want to see government mandates put on the grid that drive the cost of energy so high that a working family can't afford to pay their bills,” said Sen. Cruz.