cml750

Facepalm
So it turns out the reason Texas is having rolling blackouts during the worst state wide winter storm in recorded history is those stupid fucking democRATS and there fucking green energy bullshit. The damn windmills they push all froze and do not generate power when they cant fucking spin.

 

cml750

Facepalm

"Ah... just like old Gavin Newsom used to do back in Cali," said local resident Alice Muggins while lighting candles around the house. "I just wasn't used to having electrical power all the time and it felt really weird. Now, it feels a little more like home!"
 

Scot

Pro Bowler

"Ah... just like old Gavin Newsom used to do back in Cali," said local resident Alice Muggins while lighting candles around the house. "I just wasn't used to having electrical power all the time and it felt really weird. Now, it feels a little more like home!"

Good ole Gavin Newsom is about to find his ass out on the curb. We finally got the number of votes required to get his recall onto the ballot!
 

internetking

The Elite :-P


Texas has been hit hard by snow and ice storms and freezing temperatures. I was able to chat with three deaf people from the Austin and Houston areas to describe their experiences.

Taylor Williams (Houston):
I walked into my bedroom to open the drawer and I saw the TV turn off. I was like “No! No! I don’t want to be cold tonight.” I told my mom about it and she said “Oh no.” I put on my gloves and warm clothes and slept on my couch in my apartment. I slept with my dogs. It started to become dark outside and I had to depend on my faith. I went back to sleep but it was so cold I had a hard time sleeping. It was so, so cold. Yes, I was with my two dogs and we were snuggled up to stay warm. In the morning I checked the weather on my phone but the battery was almost out. I panicked and contacted my friends. Many of them said their homes were full. I had to keep the faith. I found a friend 15 minutes away and drove carefully and arrived safely. Thank God I’m safe.

Dana Mallory (Sugarland):
My experience with power outages is similar to hurricanes, the same concept. But I have to survive in the winter. The power went out yesterday and now it’s two days in a row. On Sunday it was fine, but on Monday my neighbors had outages. The grid is off balance and the power is messed up. I had to wear a lot of thick blankets and stayed in bed. Or I would get in the car for about an hour, just enough as to not run out of gas, so I can charge my phone and contact others and let my friends and family know I’m okay.

Thumas Lee (Houston):
I saw houses on the street alternate between having power or out. At first, I put on the heat. But the cold weather outside overpowered it. I had to put on many blankets. I set the thermostat at 68 because that’s what I saw on the news. But it was cold, so I turned it up a bit. But the power went out. I lowered the temperature and the power came back on. I have to reduce electricity usage. It was cold, so I had to use various heaters with gasoline or kerosene to keep it warm. But it still doesn’t work. I was very cold, yes. I’ve helped other deaf people around to put foam pipe coverings. A group of volunteers has installed the foam on others’ water mains. Some worked out, but some others didn’t, with burst pipes. Maybe there’s not enough foam in the interior of their homes. So I’ve had experience with bad weather with hurricanes and this ice storm. What is different? With a hurricane, I can board up the windows and stay safe. With ice, it’s worse. Because while a hurricane damages your home, your body is okay. But the ice storm causes your body to be stressed and causes panic.

Alex:
Thank you three for sharing. You can see that there are two common issues: power outages or burst pipes.

Now I will show you a video from Cesar Rocha, who with his Access to Activism team, was able to provide emergency help to vulnerable people in the Austin area.

Cesar Rocha (Austin):
I rescued about 10 deaf people who had no electricity, no water, and no food. I brought them to hotels or to their friends. I was in touch with one of my hearing friends who has a farm and we cut down about 40 trees for firewood and brought them to deaf people, interpreters, or locals in need. It’s amazing. There are 3 or 4 deaf homeless people who sleep in tents. I know them and when the storm hit, I was concerned. I had to tap hard or shake the tents because hearing people can hear others calling to offer help. I am forced to shake the tent really hard to get a woman’s attention and I was relieved she was still alive. I asked her if she wanted to stay at a motel and she said, “yes!” So I arranged that and worked with my team to make things work. Many deaf people thought it was “nothing” and that the electricity would come back on, but it’s been two or three days. It’s so cold. No internet, no phone. But we managed to contact others and help. I went to several people’s homes and the interior temperature was just as cold as outside. But sometimes it was colder inside because it’s an enclosed area. It’s freezing. Others had to put on many layers of blankets until they realized they had to call for help.

Alex:
Thank you Cesar for sharing and for being willing to help out the vulnerable.

There was some frustration among deaf people in Austin because when the mayor gave a Zoom press conference yesterday, the ASL interpreter was on a very small screen at the bottom instead of being pinned at the top.

It was better today with the interpreter’s screen being pinned at the top right corner.

Why is it really bad with the power outages? I was able to chat with Otis Sizemore, who has worked with the state government in different capacities and has experience with emergency management, and Jason Shaw, who is a master electrician. I will show you some video clips from Otis as Jason was unable to chat on video.

Otis Sizemore:
Texas relies on oil and gas. In the past, the state relied on natural gas and decided to develop a structured system called ERCOT. What is it? It is a board/commission that establishes guidelines to make electricity cheaper for customers and provide competition instead of having one price for everyone. So, that’s ERCOT. After some political and election processes, only Southern, Central, and Eastern Texas wanted to be a part of the program, while Northern Texas (Amarillo, Lubbock) declined to join. They already have a grid that is set up with New Mexico, it’s called EXCEL. They provide power for the western area. So that’s why the Southern and Eastern parts of Texas are shut down because of major issues with natural gas. Okay. So, ERCOT has data set up and they explained why there are outages. Nuclear power plants are providing only half the amount of power because of the weather. Not only that, gas wells are not insulated. They didn’t expect the freeze and now they can’t extract the gas out. Normally, the pumps can suck out 24 billion cubic feet of gas. But the freezing temperatures have reduced it to about 12 or 10 billion cubic feet. That’s a huge amount, 75%, that’s down with gas production. Why do we need gas for electricity? It is used in the process that plants use to make electricity. There are other sources such as renewable energy, for example, windmills. There’s a lot of talk about it on social media, whatever. But renewables only provide 20% of the electricity to the state of Texas. So that’s ERCOT’s setup. As for the electricity itself, how it runs with the wires and the infrastructure, that’s a whole new problem. It’s not only from the natural gas wells being frozen. The cold weather has caused the equipment — the equipment is not prepared for the cold weather. It’s not updated. The structure has been jury-rigged for a long time but the main function has not been fixed. That’s why Gov. Abbott just issued an executive order to investigate why this is happening and how we can work to prevent it from happening again.

Alex:
Thank you for explaining, I hope it helps all of you to understand better what is going on with the Texas power grid. My thoughts are with you all in affected areas and experiencing cold weather without electricity, water, or food.

Source:

 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
I spun this off to its own thread because it deserves discussion, and the "weather where you are" thread is best left to just your local weather reports, as it was intended.

Of note - here in Texas we had "rolling blackouts" back in the winter of 2011, and there wasn't all this teeth gnashing back then. The "blackouts" affected 2 million MORE people back then and some of them were deaf folks too. Just for perspective.
Otis Sizemore:
Texas relies on oil and gas. In the past, the state relied on natural gas and decided to develop a structured system called ERCOT. What is it? It is a board/commission that establishes guidelines to make electricity cheaper for customers and provide competition instead of having one price for everyone. So, that’s ERCOT. After some political and election processes, only Southern, Central, and Eastern Texas wanted to be a part of the program, while Northern Texas (Amarillo, Lubbock) declined to join. They already have a grid that is set up with New Mexico, it’s called EXCEL. They provide power for the western area. So that’s why the Southern and Eastern parts of Texas are shut down because of major issues with natural gas. Okay. So, ERCOT has data set up and they explained why there are outages. Nuclear power plants are providing only half the amount of power because of the weather. Not only that, gas wells are not insulated. They didn’t expect the freeze and now they can’t extract the gas out. Normally, the pumps can suck out 24 billion cubic feet of gas. But the freezing temperatures have reduced it to about 12 or 10 billion cubic feet. That’s a huge amount, 75%, that’s down with gas production. Why do we need gas for electricity? It is used in the process that plants use to make electricity. There are other sources such as renewable energy, for example, windmills. There’s a lot of talk about it on social media, whatever. But renewables only provide 20% of the electricity to the state of Texas. So that’s ERCOT’s setup. As for the electricity itself, how it runs with the wires and the infrastructure, that’s a whole new problem. It’s not only from the natural gas wells being frozen. The cold weather has caused the equipment — the equipment is not prepared for the cold weather. It’s not updated. The structure has been jury-rigged for a long time but the main function has not been fixed. That’s why Gov. Abbott just issued an executive order to investigate why this is happening and how we can work to prevent it from happening again.
So, most of this is bullshit. Nuclear power plants aren't affected by cold weather, and we only have two of them in the whole state. One of them on the fucking gulf coast reduced capacity out of ignorant caution more than anything else. That was a 2700mw reduction only. A drop in the bucket.

Two - wind power counts for 26 percent of generation in Texas. Not 20. Three, wind generators don't "freeze up" because we don't let them, we shut them down if it is too cold, because the blades will ice up and be very dangerous and self destructive if allowed to operate. We also shut them down if is too windy. Four - we have LESS fossil fueled generation in Texas due to going away from coal and shutting down coal-fired plants that couldn't be converted to natural gas. We've reduced fossil fuel generation overall by 25000mw since 2011. So that, when you shut off the wind power you have that much less power supply than you once had.

Most importantly, Xcel is a company. It's not a board or a commission. It is formerly Southwestern Public Service Company and it serves the Texas Panhandle and parts of Eastern New Mexico only - not the entire state. AND the power it generates through its wind farms is SOLD and transmitted to companies downstate, it's not used here. This is why we had much less of a problem here than they've had downstate. We're also prepped better for winter up here because it DOES get cold here, whereas downstate they very seldom see these kinds of arctic temps. It makes no sense at all to winterize in an area that might see these kinds of temps once every 100 years if at all. It's just nonsense.
 

internetking

The Elite :-P
Speaking of California residents moving to texas, z VRS and purple VRS was about to move from Rocklin California and Clearwater fl to Austin Texas but halted it when all those blackout and snow until all that electricity is fixed and snowmelt away.
 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
Speaking of calfornia residents moving to texas, z VRS and purple VRS was about to move from Rocklin California and Clearwater fl to Austin Texas but halted it when all those blackout and snow until all that electricity is fixed and snow melt away.
You mean ZP?
 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
Yeah they are video relay service company. Also known as zp better together LLC
Well, they completed their move over three weeks ago. If they closed for a few days then they joined the club. Lots of stuff closed due to the storm.
 

internetking

The Elite :-P

His Lights Stayed on During Texas’ Storm. Now He Owes $16,752.​

After a public outcry from people like Scott Willoughby, whose exorbitant electric bill is soon due, Gov. Greg Abbott said lawmakers should ensure Texans “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills” caused by the storm.

1613876635742.png

A crew in Austin worked to restore power lost during the winter storm that tore through Texas over the past week. Credit...Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

By Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs and Ivan Penn
  • Feb. 20, 2021, 7:49 p.m. ET
SAN ANTONIO — As millions of Texans shivered in dark, cold homes over the past week while a winter storm devastated the state’s power grid and froze natural gas production, those who could still summon lights with the flick of a switch felt lucky.
Now, many of them are paying a severe price for it.

“My savings is gone,” said Scott Willoughby, a 63-year-old Army veteran who lives on Social Security payments in a Dallas suburb. He said he had nearly emptied his savings account so that he would be able to pay the $16,752 electric bill charged to his credit card — 70 times what he usually pays for all of his utilities combined. “There’s nothing I can do about it, but it’s broken me.”

Mr. Willoughby is among scores of Texans who have reported skyrocketing electric bills as the price of keeping lights on and refrigerators humming shot upward. For customers whose electricity prices are not fixed and are instead tied to the fluctuating wholesale price, the spikes have been astronomical.

The outcry elicited angry calls for action from lawmakers from both parties and prompted Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, to hold an emergency meeting with legislators on Saturday to discuss the enormous bills.

“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,” Mr. Abbott, who has been reeling after the state’s infrastructure failure, said in a statement after the meeting. He added that Democrats and Republicans would work together to make sure people “do not get stuck with skyrocketing energy bills.”

The electric bills are coming due at the end of a week in which Texans have faced a combination of crises caused by the frigid weather, beginning on Monday, when power grid failures and surging demand led to millions being left without electricity.

1613876680376.png


A neighborhood in Austin, Texas, that was still without power on Thursday. Credit...Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times

Natural gas producers were not prepared for the freeze either, and many people’s homes were cut off from heat. Now, millions of people are discovering that they have no safe water because of burst pipes, frozen wells or water treatment plants that have been knocked offline. Power has returned in recent days for all but about 60,000 Texans as the storm moved east, where it has also caused power outages in Mississippi, Louisiana, West Virginia and Ohio.

The steep electric bills in Texas are in part a result of the state’s uniquely unregulated energy market, which allows customers to pick their electricity providers among about 220 retailers in an entirely market-driven system.

Under some of the plans, when demand increases, prices rise. The goal, architects of the system say, is to balance the market by encouraging consumers to reduce their usage and power suppliers to create more electricity.

But when last week’s crisis hit and power systems faltered, the state’s Public Utilities Commission ordered that the price cap be raised to its maximum limit of $9 per kilowatt-hour, easily pushing many customers’ daily electric costs above $100. And in some cases, like Mr. Willoughby’s, bills rose by more than 50 times the normal cost.

Many of the people who have reported extremely high charges, including Mr. Willoughby, are customers of Griddy, a small company in Houston that provides electricity at wholesale prices, which can quickly change based on supply and demand.

The company passes the wholesale price directly to customers, charging an additional $9.99 monthly fee. Much of the time, the rate is considered affordable. But the model can be risky: Last week, foreseeing a huge jump in wholesale prices, the company encouraged all of its customers — about 29,000 people — to switch to another provider when the storm arrived.

But many were unable to do so.
Katrina Tanner, a Griddy customer who lives in Nevada, Texas, said she had been charged $6,200 already this month, more than five times what she paid in all of 2020. She began using Griddy at a friend’s suggestion a couple of years ago and was pleased at the time with how simple it was to sign up.

As the storm rolled through during the past week, however, she kept opening the company’s app on her phone and seeing her bill “just rising, rising, rising,” Ms. Tanner said. Griddy was able to take the money she owed directly from her bank account, and she now has just $200 left. She suspects that she was only able to keep that much because her bank stopped Griddy from taking more.

1613877080436.png

DeAndré Upshaw’s bill rose to more than $5,000 during the cold weather, when his electricity was on intermittently at his apartment in Dallas.Credit...Lola Gomez/The Dallas Morning News, via Associated Press

Some lawmakers and consumer advocates said the price spikes had made it clear that customers did not understand the complicated terms of the company’s model.

“To the Texas Utilities Commission: What are you thinking, allowing the average type of household to sign up for this kind of program?” Tyson Slocum, the director of the energy program at Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, said of Griddy.

“The risk-reward is so out of whack that it never should have been permitted in the first place.”
Phil King, a Republican state lawmaker who represents an area west of Fort Worth, said some of his constituents who were on variable-rate contracts were complaining about bills in the thousands.

“When something like this happens, you’re in real trouble” with such contracts, Mr. King said. “There have got to be some emergency financial waivers and other actions taken until we can work through this and get to the bottom of it.”

Responding to its outraged customers, Griddy, too, appeared to try to shift anger to the Public Utilities Commission in a statement.

“We intend to fight this for, and alongside, our customers for equity and accountability — to reveal why such price increases were allowed to happen as millions of Texans went without power,” the statement said.

William W. Hogan, considered the architect of the Texas energy market design, said in an interview this past week that the high prices reflected the market performing as it was designed.

The rapid losses of power — more than a third of the state’s available electricity production was offline at one point — increased the risk that the entire system would collapse, causing prices to rise, said Mr. Hogan, a professor of global energy policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

“As you get closer and closer to the bare minimum, these prices get higher and higher, which is what you want,” Mr. Hogan said.

1613877044318.png

An electrical substation in Houston after the winter storm caused electricity blackouts across Texas.Credit...Go Nakamura/Reuters

Robert McCullough, an energy consultant in Portland, Ore., and a critic of Mr. Hogan’s, said that allowing the market to drive energy policy with few protections for consumers was “idiotic” and that similar actions had devastated retailers and consumers following the California energy crisis of 2000 and 2001.

“The similar situation caused a wave of bankruptcies as retailers and customers discovered that they were on the hook for bills 30 times their normal levels,” Mr. McCullough said. “We are going to see this again.”

DeAndré Upshaw said his power had been on and off in his Dallas apartment throughout the storm. A lot of his neighbors had it worse, so he felt fortunate to have electricity and heat, inviting some neighbors over to warm up.

Then Mr. Upshaw, 33, saw that his utility bill from Griddy had risen to more than $6,700. He usually pays about $80 a month this time of year.

He had been trying to conserve power as the storm raged on, but it didn’t seem to matter. He also signed up to switch to another utility company, but he is still being charged until the change goes into effect on Monday.

“It’s a utility — it’s something that you need to live,” Mr. Upshaw, 33, said. “I don’t feel like I’ve used $6,700 of electricity in the last decade. That’s not a cost that any reasonable person would have to pay for five days of intermittent electric service being used at the bare minimum.”

As Texas slowly thaws out, Ms. Tanner is allowing herself a small luxury after days of keeping the thermostat at 60 degrees.

“I finally decided the other day, if we were going to pay these high prices, we weren’t going to freeze,” she said. “So I cranked it up to 65.”

The Texas Storm
Texas Winter Storm: What to Know
Feb. 20, 2021

How Texas’ Power Generation Failed During the Storm, In Charts
Extreme Cold Killed Texans in Their Bedrooms, Vehicles and Backyards
Feb. 19, 2021

Cracked Pipes, Frozen Wells, Offline Treatment Plants: A Texan Water Crisis
Feb. 18, 2021


Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio reported from San Antonio, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs from New York and Ivan Penn from Los Angeles. Caitlin Cruz contributed reporting from Houston and David Montgomery from Austin. Jack Begg contributed research.
Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Rio is a national reporting fellow. She previously reported in her hometown of Los Angeles, as well as in New York City and Washington. @GiuliaMcDonnell
Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs reports on national news. He is from upstate New York and previously reported in Baltimore, Albany, and Isla Vista, Calif. @nickatnews
Ivan Penn is a Los Angeles-based reporter covering alternative energy. Before coming to The Times in 2018 he covered utility and energy issues at The Tampa Bay Times and The Los Angeles Times. @ivanlpenn



Source:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/20/us/texas-storm-electric-bills.html?referringSource=articleShare
 

touchdown

Defense Wins Championships
Is there a way to winterize Natural gas wellheads to prevent them from freezing up in extreme cold. The limited natural gas delivery caused problems for homes and businesses that heat by natural gas. Heat in an office, plant, or school building in extreme cold is vital to prevent the pressurized fire suppression pipes from bursting.

Add to that, no heat in an all electric home, because natural gas flow has been restricted to power generation plants, because of frozen natural gas wellheads.

And then, there's the power generation plants, of all kinds, that need to be winterized.

That's my 2 1/2 cents...
 

yimyammer

Quality Starter
I use Griddy and got nailed for $600 for just 4 days but it could have been far worse if I didn't use gas for the water heater, heater, oven and cooktop. The previous 9 months were like $175 total so I suppose it equals out and this was a freak circumstance that doesnt happen too often (I hope). I dont think I'm going to take the chance though and lock in a rate to insure against catastrophe like this weekend.

The above property is a rental I pay bills on, I also do it on another property but I signed a contract with fixed rate terms, hope there wasn't any fine print I missed, I guess I'm about to find out
 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
Is there a way to winterize Natural gas wellheads to prevent them from freezing up in extreme cold. The limited natural gas delivery caused problems for homes and businesses that heat by natural gas.
We have natural gas in Canada, North Dakota, Minnesota - all places that get far colder than any part of Texas. And there's no problems. It's stupid to waste millions super-winterizing systems that never SEE any real winter. In fact the whole "gas wells freezing" crap is just a deflection, a talking point. To trick the eye away from the real problem.

One factual voice in the wilderness of spin, fabrications and outright lies speaks forth, from the USA Today editorial page of all places:

One relevant quote:
Unsurprisingly, the failure of wind has sparked a competing narrative that fossil fuel plants were the real cause of power outages. This claim can be quickly dispelled with a look at data from ERCOT, the state’s electricity regulator. Even though the extreme cold had frozen cooling systems on coal plants and natural gas pipelines, the state’s coal plants still upped their output by 47% in response to increasing demand. Natural gas plants across the state increased their output by an amazing 450%.
We JACKED UP OUTPUT! Using GAS and coal! In spite of whatever problems the cold caused!

The liars out there are spinning, "we weren't counting on wind power" but yes they damn sure were. Lots of coal and gas fired plants were DOWN for annual maintenance, (scheduled when demand for electricity is typically lowest, mid February) and wind provided 42% of the state’s electricity on Feb. 7, but it fell to 8% on Feb.11. This is not difficult math people.
 

Creeper

Practice Squad
Is there a way to winterize Natural gas wellheads to prevent them from freezing up in extreme cold. The limited natural gas delivery caused problems for homes and businesses that heat by natural gas. Heat in an office, plant, or school building in extreme cold is vital to prevent the pressurized fire suppression pipes from bursting.

Add to that, no heat in an all electric home, because natural gas flow has been restricted to power generation plants, because of frozen natural gas wellheads.

And then, there's the power generation plants, of all kinds, that need to be winterized.

That's my 2 1/2 cents...

I live in the North East where we have colder weather than Texas every winter. I have lived here my entire life. We have gas hot water heat, which is what my parents had too. I have never in my entire life experienced a natural gas outage no matter how cold or how much snow we have gotten. I have to believe if we can maintain a continuous flow in NJ, then there must be a way to maintain a continuous flow in Texas.
 

Creeper

Practice Squad
Regardless of the cause of the Texas power problems, one thing is abundantly clear. We cannot move towards 100% renewable energy in parts of the country where cold and snow is common in the winter.
 

Doomsday

High Plains Drifter
Has no relation to this and isn't even remotely associated. Enron was securities fraud and internal accounting fraud. Not customer billing fraud.

But more to the point, ALL of these people getting the jacked up bills AGREED to it by signing up with these esoteric "providers" and gambling on demand never having a drastic increase and rates never having a drastic increase. The trade-off was much lower bills every month than people signed up through the utility were getting.

No doubt our legislature will put the quietus to these monster bills. The Rs and the Ds all seem agreed on this.
 
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