1960s Era Infrastructure

Perhaps I’m a bit obsessed with the recent “Big Freeze” Texas winter blackout. So many things about it are wrong at so many levels. A good, short, technical article on the subject that pulls no punches. Everyone needs to understand this bit:

“Those that did get power also received shockingly high electricity bills, rising into the five figures. That’s the result of, in part, the state’s Public Utility Commission setting wildly high prices for energy producers in an effort to get more juice on the grid. The commission offered producers $9,000 per megawatt hour in an effort to entice more production as the grid began to sputter. In comparison, the study notes that prices preceding the freeze were $30 per megawatt hour. The sky-high prices stayed in place for days even after enough power plants started to come back online to meet demand, resulting in $16 billion in excessive charges to customers or roughly $1,700 per household in Texas. (The whole event cost ratepayers $47 billion, a bill electricity customers will be paying off for decades.)

To summarize: while people were freezing to death in their houses a massive ripoff was underway, to the tune of $1700 per Texas household. By the same people who caused the outage. From Gizmodo:

Why the Texas Grid Failed, According to Science

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