Why Texas Republicans Fear the Green New Deal

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    • #405814
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 7,887

      https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/opinion/green-new-deal-texas-blackout.html

      A fateful series of decisions were made in the late-’90s, when the now-defunct, scandal-plagued energy company Enron led a successful push to radically deregulate Texas’s electricity sector. As a result, decisions about the generation and distribution of power were stripped from regulators and, in effect, handed over to private energy companies. Unsurprisingly, these companies prioritized short-term profit over costly investments to maintain the grid and build in redundancies for extreme weather.ear.

      Today, Texans are at the mercy of regulation-allergic politicians who failed to require that energy companies plan for shocks or weatherize their infrastructure (renewables and fossil fuel alike). In a recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” show, Austin’s mayor, Steve Adler, summed it up: “We have a deregulated power system in the state and it does not work, because it does not build in the incentives in order to protect people.”

      This energy-market free-for-all means that as the snow finally melts, many Texans are discovering that they owe their private electricity providers thousands of dollars — a consequence of leaving pricing to the whims of the market. The $200,000 energy bills some people received, the photos of which went viral online, were, it seems, a mistake. But some bills approaching $10,000 are the result of simple supply and demand in a radically underregulated market. “The last thing an awful lot of people need right now is a higher electric bill,” said Matt Schulz, chief industry analyst with LendingTree. “And that’s unfortunately something a lot of people will get stuck with.” This is bad news for those customers, but great news for shale gas companies like Comstock Resources Inc. On an earnings call last Wednesday, its chief financial officer said, “This week is like hitting the jackpot with some of these incredible prices.”

      Put bluntly, Texas is about as far from having a Green New Deal as any place on earth. So why have Republicans seized it as their scapegoat of choice?

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #405817
      eridani
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      • Total Posts: 7,887

      https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/22/demands-grow-texas-forgive-all-utility-bills-price-gouging-energy-companies-sparks

      On Sunday, the Texas Public Utility Commission approved a pair of orders directing energy companies to temporarily halt disconnects due to non-payment and stop sending bill estimates to customers. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott—who has come under fire for erroneously blaming renewable energy for the power outages—said Saturday that “we have a responsibility to protect Texans from spikes in their energy bills that are a result of the severe winter weather and power outages.”

      But Texans are demanding concrete and sweeping action from the state government, not mere empty rhetoric, to prevent the power crisis from sending families into financial ruin.

      “Unfortunately, the Texas energy market is the market that gave us Enron,” Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) said in an appearance on MSNBC on Saturday. “So you’ve gotta watch what happens with the suppliers and the providers there. And it looks pretty much like there was price gouging going on. And people are starting to get these energy bills for over $1,000, and I don’t believe the people of Texas should have to pay these outrageous bills.”

      “The state government is gonna have to step in and basically hold people harmless—in other words, make sure that those exorbitant costs are not passed onto the customer here,” said Castro. “And I think they’re gonna see that there’s gonna be a movement throughout Texas of people who are liberal and conservative and across the political spectrum who are refusing to pay $2,000 when for two days they didn’t even get power, and they’re not even responsible for the poor planning that went on by state leaders.”

      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

    • #405839
      GZeusH
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      • Total Posts: 3,474

      They elected Republicans, didn’t they?

    • #405846
      Ohio Barbarian
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      • Total Posts: 19,390

      Bill Clinton, of course. And the entire focus is on Republicans. It’s not Republicans per se who are the problem, it is capitalism and the profit motive that is the problem. Public utilities should not be privately run because they will never put the needs of people over the profits of a few.

      It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don't want and get it.--Eugene Debs

      You can jail a revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution.--Fred Hampton

    • #405857
      Pam2
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      • Total Posts: 7,281

      @gzeush

      Not everybody in the whole state is a Republican. Even the ones who are don’t deserve to freeze to death.

      But @ohiobarbarian is right, putting profits over people is bipartisan.

       

       

    • #405976
      snot
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      • Total Posts: 1,154
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