Just months after his last scandal during an unprecedented winter storm left scores of Texans without heat, Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz is once again in hot water—no pun intended—as his state's electricity grid crumbles amid a near-record heatwave.
As Texas' electricity authority struggles to meet demand for air conditioning, folks on Twitter were at the ready to remind Cruz of when he mocked California last year for rolling blackouts due to the exact same problem.
In those tweets, Cruz attempted to paint California as a failing state incapable of providing "basic functions of civilization."
The 2020 rolling blackouts in California were the state's first since an infamous period of sustained rolling blackouts in 2001.
Nonetheless, Cruz and many other conservative politicians seized on the news in an attempt to cast California as a crumbling Democrat-led state besieged by cuts to basic services.
Cut to less than a year later, and the electrical power authority in Cruz's Republican-led state—The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)—is begging citizens to cut power usage as much as possible this week, just as California did in 2020.
According to an ERCOT spokesman:
"A significant number of forced generation outages combined with potential record electric use for the month of June has resulted in tight grid conditions."
Those outages—which ERCOT official Warren Lasher called "very concerning"—seem to have caught the utility by surprise.
As Lasher told The Texas Tribune:
"I don't have any potential reasons [for the plant outages] that I can share at this time."
As temperatures soared to near-record June levels, ERCOT's outages left an estimated 2.4 million Texas homes without power—a number that dwarfs what happened in California last year, when rolling blackouts affected just 500,000 of the state's 40 million citizens.
On Twitter, people wasted no time in pointing out Cruz's latest hypocrisy.
This is Cruz's second scandal in just four months to arise from the collapse of his state's power grid.
Cruz was publicly humiliated in February after he was caught fleeing with his family to Cancun during his state's freak winter storm.
The power outages during that storm resulted in an official death count of 151. More recent independent analysis, however, revised the death toll to as many as 978 people.