With millions of Americans dealing with the massive winter storm, Texas in particular has been hit hard. The extreme cold weather combined with energy generation problems has led to blackouts leaving many without power.
It's tough all around, with many offering advice and help where they can, but there's only so much that can be done without sufficient power.
In the middle of all this, Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas became the focus of Twitter as an old tweet of his resurfaced.
In it, Cruz mocked California for their energy issues.
California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. Biden… https://t.co/SlulELAle0— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1597857608.0
At the time last August, California was experiencing an energy issue over the summer, leaving their system short up to 2 gigawatts in the evenings. The state government asked citizens to take steps to control their energy usage until the crisis could be averted.
By comparison, Texas has been short 15-25 gigawatts for two days.
The unearthed tweet mocking California became a rallying cry against Cruz.
@StandardUtility @Crown_of_Eden @jmontforttx @ERCOT_ISO Ah, you got to it before I could. If only Texas politicians… https://t.co/xiqRBq19Xh— Chapps (@Chapps)1613511970.0
Senators from Texas love tweeting about reliable electricity. https://t.co/K2xaxrRf76— Cody Johnston (@Cody Johnston)1613429970.0
In Texas, the grid is the news As people lack power to use. The setup it had, At present, looks bad, And so does (as always) Ted Cruz.— Limericking (@Limericking)1613516860.0
@DanRather I wish you and all Texas residents safety. However, it is impossible not to recall the ridicule of one… https://t.co/tgkVGLuRd4— Michael B Lehrhoff (@Michael B Lehrhoff)1613526158.0
Exacerbating the issue for Texas, most of the state is the only one in the continental United States that isn't on a federal power grid. This means in the event of a loss in power, Texas can't balance out by pulling energy from another state the way other parts of the country can.
While the state can import some power from Mexico, the state has tried to remain as separate as possible to avoid transferring power over state lines, which would make their energy infrastructure fall under federal jurisdiction. This lack of federal oversight is a point of pride for the state.
But this means the state has to be significantly more self-reliant, an issue when multiple forms of energy generation, especially fossil fuel energy fail during a record storm.
The danger in this storm goes far beyond a tweet, and into the energy policies championed by Cruz.
@thehill It's almost as if deregulating critical infrastructure to make a few rich people even richer isn't the bes… https://t.co/uMOpfR2wQ4— Corbeau (@Corbeau)1613521626.0
Our cold evening sky is haunted by the obscene radiant glow of empty corporate-owned skyscrapers while five million… https://t.co/3ysnVdK8mf— Respectable Lawyer (@Respectable Lawyer)1613454023.0
This is a good time to note that the electrical grid in Texas was deregulated, privatized, and removed from interco… https://t.co/jur9pJD1pz— Bryan William Jones (@Bryan William Jones)1613487007.0
Energy analysts and electricity experts said a complete failure to plan for extreme weather scenarios caused the ki… https://t.co/NrA2dsAb6y— Mesfin Mekonen (@Mesfin Mekonen)1613531718.0
Cruz and House Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas are both known for criticizing green energy policies and pushing for the use of fossil fuels. Specifically, they've criticized the Green New Deal, and try to advocate for coal energy.
However, both of California's issues, wildfires and heatwave, and the Texas cold snap are likely byproducts of climate change.
Since Crenshaw was also critical of California's response to their energy crisis, it didn't take much to find his own hypocritical tweet.
Alexa, show me what happens when you let Democrats control energy policy. https://t.co/PLtgofajlg— Dan Crenshaw (@Dan Crenshaw)1599581355.0
The Texas system had the opposite problem, with an extreme cold snap hitting the state's infrastructure. The normally very warm state's power generators couldn't handle the frigid weather, with different portions of the system failing simultaneously.
This decrease in power generation, combined with the demand for increased power to survive the cold wave has led to a widespread energy shortage that leaves many without power.
Because of this, the views pushed by Crenshaw and Cruz have been heavily criticized over the last day and a half.
Alexa, Show me what happens when you let Dan Crenshaw and the GOP run Texas! Her response, NOTHING, Cuz the powers… https://t.co/GGZj38VrqB— Agolf Twitler Slayer (@Agolf Twitler Slayer)1613511090.0
https://t.co/Ji0uvKJIzV— Conservative Self-Owns (@Conservative Self-Owns)1613514530.0
Imagine being worse than Ted Cruz. https://t.co/qNsMOThTvF— Polyamorous Tantric QAnon Sex Guru? Seriously? (@Polyamorous Tantric QAnon Sex Guru? Seriously?)1613523839.0
You have failed us. Miserable, worthless, R0ACH excrement. @GovAbbott @SenTedCruz @DanCrenshawTX https://t.co/apkYdrzF08— Social Distancing Dom (@Social Distancing Dom)1613530140.0
In the end, though, even Cruz himself admitted there was no defending his past tweets.
I got no defense. 🤷🏻♂️ A blizzard strikes Texas & our state shuts down. Not good. Stay safe! https://t.co/kBPGrGHmvI— Ted Cruz (@Ted Cruz)1613521323.0
As climate change ravages the planet, extreme weather events will become more and more common. While we need to take steps to ensure our energy infrastructure can meet these challenges, we also need to start taking preventative steps too.
Without an extreme response to our CO2 emissions and a significant overhaul of our society, these storms are only going to get worse.
Until then, stay safe and take care of each other.