Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has wasted no time politicizing — and twisting the facts about — the outages that have left millions of his constituents without power in freezing temperatures.
During a Tuesday appearance on right-wing TV personality Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, the Republican governor erroneously claimed renewable energy failures were responsible for statewide blackouts. The situation, he added, was proof that the Green New Deal championed by Democrats would be a “deadly deal” for the country.
“Texas is blessed with multiple sources of energy, such as natural gas and oil and nuclear, as well as solar and wind,” he said. “But you saw ... that our wind and our solar got shut down, and they were collectively more than 10% of our power grid, and that thrust Texas into a situation where it was lacking power on a statewide basis.”
Texas Gov. Abbott blames solar and wind for the blackouts in his state and says "this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America" pic.twitter.com/YfVwa3YRZQ— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 17, 2021
While some Texas wind turbines did freeze during the storm, failures at natural gas, coal and nuclear facilities caused roughly twice as much power loss as issues with renewables, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the state’s grid operator said during a Tuesday press conference.
Abbott himself knows this, having sent out out a tweet on Monday that chalked up the blackouts to failures at natural gas and coal plants.
The Texas power grid has not been compromised.— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) February 15, 2021
The ability of some companies that generate the power has been frozen.
This includes the natural gas & coal generators.
They are working to get generation back on line.
ERCOT & PUC are prioritizing residential consumers. https://t.co/wDiDXN17Fu
However, while gabbing with Hannity, it appears the gov didn’t want facts to get in the way of having his own take on a popular — and widely debunked — right-wing narrative: that renewables are to blame for Texas’ current woes.
Conservatives ranging from GOP Texas Ag Commissioner Sid Miller to freshman firebrand U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colorado, spent yesterday spinning the crisis as an indictment of wind power — something Abbott once again proved he has plenty of to spare.
Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.
San Antonio Current works for you, and your support is essential.
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of San Antonio and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep San Antonio's true free press free.