There is a lot of conflicting "information" about the TX blackouts. Here's the bottom line: the root cause of the TX blackouts is a national and state policy that has prioritized the adoption of unreliable wind/solar energy over reliable energy.

For the last decade+ policy in TX and in the US has been focused on mandating or subsidizing as much wind and solar as possible. TX has bragged about being the biggest wind generator in the US.
The TX focus on wind has come above all at the expense of coal, which has the resiliency advantage (along with nuclear) of being able to store large quantities of fuel onsite; gas mostly requires "just in time" delivery from pipelines.
“In 2009, coal-fired plants generated nearly 37 percent of the state’s electricity while wind provided about 6 percent. Since then, three Texas coal-fired plants have closed...In the same period, our energy consumption rose by 20 percent.”…
Because intermittent wind and solar can always go near zero--as we saw recently in TX--they don't replace the cost of reliable power plants, they add to the cost of reliable power plants. This is why the more wind and solar grids use, the higher their electricity prices.
To lessen the price increases from "unreliables" governments try to get away with as few reliable power plants online as they can get away with. TX is no exception. The Public Utilities Commission of TX has called their grid's margin for error ("reserve margin") “very scary.”
Additionally, the expense and distraction of accommodating "unreliables" takes away money and focus from resiliency. In CA this meant not maintaining power lines. In TX it may have meant not focusing enough on making the reliable power plants resilient enough to winter weather.
While we don't know yet what exactly caused certain gas and coal plants to go down--lack of resilience for those plants, grid mismanagement, or fuel infrastructure--we know with 100% certainty that gas and coal plants can easily run in far more adverse conditions than TX has now.
We know with 100% certainty that gas, coal, and nuclear plants can easily run in far more adverse conditions than TX has now. And we know with 100% certainty that even if no wind turbines had frozen they would have been nearly useless during large portions of recent weather.
If you are looking at the facts in TX, the obvious lesson here is: stop subsidizing and mandating unreliables--which are often useless when you need them most--and do a better job at managing reliables.
Instead of acknowledging the reality that unreliables can't keep us warm or powered in the winter--and that the "100% renewable" direction is disastrous--advocates of unreliables are instead implying that no source of electricity can be relied upon, so no need to single out wind.
Dr. Emily Grubert of GA Tech writes: "Let us be absolutely clear: if there are grid failures today, it shows the existing (largely fossil-based) system cannot handle these conditions either." Really? Ever heard of the Midwest or Canada?…
We know how to produce enough low-cost, reliable electricity for every situation. You just build a whole bunch of reliable power plants, including those with on-site fuel storage--such as coal and nuclear. You place a premium on reliability and resilience. That's it.
TX is having an electricity crisis during bad winter weather because it did not focus enough on building reliable power plants and infrastructure--because it was obsessed with getting as much unreliable wind/solar electricity as possible. Let's all learn from this mistake.
Right now TX's plans include
* 0 new nuclear plants
* 0 new coal plants
* 9.4 GW wind (the existing 32 GW went to 1 GW during crucial times this week)
* 11.9 GW solar (solar was useless much of the week)
* 5.0 GW gas (to handle the unreliables)

These plans should change.
As bad as TX's plans to "rely on unreliables" are, they are nothing compared to the Biden Plan, which calls for nearly 100% solar and wind electricity by 2035! Everyone should be asking him how the hell his plan would have fared in TX this week.…
TX and America need to totally change direction in energy policy toward one of energy freedom, including freedom for the wonderful but demonized and criminalized ultra-reliable, non-carbon electricity source known as nuclear.
For more truths about energy, environmental, and climate issues, go to
My explanation of the Texas Electricity Crisis is now up at…
Here's the latest chart on what happened in TX.

Imagine that, instead of focusing its resources on unreliable wind and solar (green and yellow) TX had focused on the resiliency best-practices that enable nuclear, coal, and gas to thrive in cold/snowy weather around the world.

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More from @AlexEpstein

15 Feb
I hereby declare today Renewable Blackout Day, in which wind/solar propagandists turn off their power and heat--in apology to their victims in Texas.

Please invite people to participate via quote tweet. I invite @algore, @AOC, and Larry Fink.
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
The widely-publicized claim that fossil fuels cause 1 in 5 deaths is the worst kind of pseudoscience. It ignores fossil fuels' life-extending benefits and wildly overstates their negative side-effects. In reality, fossil fuels lengthen 5 out of 5 lives.

A recent study by Harvard and UK universities is being circulated as proof that fossil fuels are responsible for 1 in 5 deaths--over 8 million deaths annually.

And yet the places where fossil fuel use has grown most in recent decades have had skyrocketing life expectancies.
Since 1980, India's fossil fuel use has increased by 700% and China's has increased by 600%. Did this lead to many more premature deaths given "fossil fuels cause 1 in 5 deaths"? No, India's life expectancy increased by almost 16 years and China's increased by almost 10!
Read 11 tweets
9 Feb
The widely-condemned "flaring" of natural gas is a vital safety measure that decreases the energy efficiency of US drilling by less than 1%. And that number would be far lower without the infrastructure-blocking of anti-fossil fuel activists who claim to oppose flaring.

Opponents of fossil fuels like to pretend that they're not opposed to fossil fuels, including natural gas, just "wasteful" practices like flaring. They call for shutting down any oil/gas production that engages in flaring. Such a policy would have terrible consequences.
What is flaring? Flaring is the practice of burning natural gas, often emerging as part of oil production, that cannot be cost-effectively brought to customers. Flaring that gas prevents it from exploding, protecting workers and communities.
Read 13 tweets
29 Jan
Joe Biden's escalating bans on domestic fossil fuel production, combined with mandates of unreliable solar and wind overwhelmingly produced by unreliable China, are an existential threat to our energy security and therefore our national security.

In the last decade, America has achieved unprecedented energy security thanks to domestic, reliable energy production from coal and especially from oil and natural gas unlocked from abundant, once-useless shale deposits via "fracking."
While we are taught to take energy security for granted, that is a huge mistake. In the 1970s, thanks in large part to a lack of domestic energy production, we suffered two enormous energy crises that ground life to a halt. Endless gas lines, unheated schools, blackouts, etc.
Read 22 tweets
29 Jan
Biden’s ban on oil/gas leasing on federal lands is a dictatorial measure that will 1) increase US energy costs, 2) decrease US energy security, 3) destroy US companies, 4) destroy US jobs, 5) discourage US industry, 6) decrease US tax revenue, and 7) increase global emissions.
Biden's oil/gas leasing ban is dictatorial. Federal lands under the Bureau of Land Mgmt are by Federal law required to be open to energy development, including oil/gas. If Biden disagrees with this he should try to change the law, not put himself above the law.
Consequence 1 of the Biden oil/gas leasing ban: increasing US energy costs. Anything we do to restrict domestic oil production means higher prices due to the increased transportation costs involved in importing oil from other countries.
Read 11 tweets
22 Jan
The Paris Climate Accords is an immoral, self-destructive agreement that on paper commits the US to huge productivity losses in the short term and total economic destruction in the long term. Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s plan to implement the Paris Accords is far worse.

In 2015 the Obama/Biden administration, without Senate authorization, committed the US to the Paris Climate Accords. The Accords called for a 28% cut in emissions by 2025 and at least an 80% cut by 2050.
The costs of Obama's Paris plan would have been enormous. The nonpartisan National Economic Research Associates concluded that Obama's plan would cause rising economic damage reaching $2 trillion a year—about $15,000 a household—by 2040.
Read 12 tweets

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