Texas Energy Deregulation Leaves People Dead Cold


     A couple of weeks ago a massive cold front struck Texas and multiple surrounding states. Power outages across the states put people in dangerous situations, causing deaths and injuries. Texas voted to not depend on the federal government for their energy needs. Texas wanted their own energy source without having to abide by federal regulations. Because Texas energy companies did not need to abide by federal winterizing regulations, to save money, Texas energy companies refused to winterize their systems, even though they were strongly encouraged to do so by regulators. This caused pipes and systems to freeze, and left millions without heat and electricity in freezing temperatures.

     The cold front not only affected power grids, but it also affected many people and families. Many were freezing in their homes to death because there was nothing they could do, they had no power or any way of heating themselves. Piles ups were happening throughout all of Texas causing 6 deaths. More people died because it was just too cold, reports had also come in that people were getting carbon monoxide poisoning because they were running their car while they were in their garages trying to stay warm.

     It took days for the power to return but by then the damage had already been done, millions were still left without power by Thursday morning. Many people who had been left without electricity for days also had problems with their house water pipes freezing and bursting to cause big holes to be made. Jim Fowler said, “You want to do everything real quick after the lights come on. You don’t want to drag, you don’t want to wait. You need to have things prioritized that you want to do when the power comes back on, right in the beginning so it doesn’t catch you in the middle of something.” This is what people had to go through trying to do everything all at once because they didn’t know how long it would be until they had power again.

     People not only died of freezing temperatures, but they also died of carbon monoxide poisoning from trying to stay warm in their running cars, emitting exhaust fumes in the garage.

     The Texas Cold front affected and misplaced everything. Millions of people were left without electricity and heat for days in subfreezing temperatures. There was a demand for electricity as the temperatures dropped and grid operators unplugged the power for more than 4 million people, because the overload would have caused Texas to be out of power for months. The power took days to turn on.

     The grid is not meant for so much use and runs at full power at all times, but the overload of power messes more people up. The power grid is supposed to run at 60 hertz for stability and anything less than 59 is a concern because this would shut down the state for weeks and months. The grid was running at 59.93 hertz this is the reason why they unplugged the grid for 4 million people. 

     On the other hand, people who had Tesla’s power wall and solar panels had power. Lights were on with people who had backup power from their batteries in the houses. People are going to start investing more in Teslas products if this happens again because they saved a lot of people from harm and discomfort. The Texas cold front is expected to increase gas prices as production slowed down and demand increases.

    Gas prices went up 10-20 cents two weeks after the cold front hit. For the people who still had electricity their electricity bills also skyrocketed some as high as $16,000. Since Texas is independent and could not receive help from neighboring states they decided to raise prices.  In conclusion, millions of people were left without power for days because texas would not have power for months if they did not execute this action and expect gas prices to go up because of the cold front.

   Overall, this cold front that hit Texas has had a huge impact on the state and opened the eyes of many of how disconnecting from the national grid and avoiding Federal regulations to save energy companies money, creates can create home energy chaos and deaths when there’s unusual weather. Texas was warned about the potential risks to their systems in cold weather, but they ignored winterizing in order to save some money. BIG Government is not always the enemy. Regulations are there for a reason. Often, they are there to save lives. Hopefully, Texas has learned this and Texans won’t freeze, have water damage to their homes, or die so energy companies can save a few bucks on winterization.