World In Texas, after the cold snap, the scourge of electricity bills

03:15  22 february  2021
03:15  22 february  2021 Source:   leparisien.fr

Texas Failed Because It Did Not Plan

  Texas Failed Because It Did Not Plan What went wrong in Texas? The Lone Star State made three fundamental errors.Severed from electricity and bare to the frigid weather, Texas’s infrastructure suffered a kind of multisystem failure. Pipes began to burst inside homes. Cell networks went down, preventing people from calling 911. In Austin and elsewhere, so many people ran their pipes at a drip (in order to prevent them from freezing) that the water system depressurized, contaminating the supply and forcing residents to boil their water before using it.

Le Parisien © Supplied by Le Parisien Le Parisien

Millions of people were still deprived of drinking water on Sunday in Texas , where elected officials attended rebelled against the astronomical rise in the cost of electricity linked to the lethal cold snap that hit the country.

If 30,000 homes were still without electricity on Sunday, the rescue teams have not yet been able to repair all the power lines blown down by the bad weather, according to the

poweroutage site, many Texans are now facing another problem : Exorbitant energy bills, up to $ 16,000.

Texas is in fact the only state whose energy distribution network operates in a vacuum, and its electricity market is completely deregulated. Many homes have contracts whose monthly price varies according to demand, and the latter exploded with the cold snap.

Why the Texas power grid is struggling to cope with the extreme cold

  Why the Texas power grid is struggling to cope with the extreme cold A sudden spike in energy demand and a loss of natural gas, coal, nuclear, and wind energy during a winter storm triggered blackouts across the state.The National Weather Service on Monday reported that 150 million Americans were under various winter storm warnings, with heavy snow and ice still likely to sweep from the Southern Plains, to the Ohio Valley, to the Northeast.

"Everything that happened this week was predictable and preventable"

"These bills, these prohibitive costs should be paid by the State of Texas, and not by the individual consumers who are not responsible for this disaster", launched Sunday on NBC Sylvester Turner, the mayor of Houston, the fourth largest American city.

“Everything that happened this week was predictable and preventable,” he added, adding that it has long been clear that Texas’s independent power grid is vulnerable to extreme weather conditions.

"We have a responsibility to protect Texans from increases in their energy bills which are the result of very harsh winter weather and power cuts," Texas Governor Greg Abbott also said on Saturday.

Investigation demanded by authorities

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President Joe Biden, has signed a new declaration of emergency for Texas, releasing funds that could help pay residents' electricity bills, according to Republican Congressman Michael McCaul. “It's the current plan, with federal assistance, to be able to help homeowners,” he told CNN.

VIDEO. Cold snap: endless queues in Texas for water supplies

On the ground, Democrat elected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had already raised more than $ 4 million on Saturday to help the Texans. “When disaster strikes, it's not just a problem for Texans; This is a problem for our whole country, ”Bronx Representative

told reporters . “And our whole country must come together behind the needs of Texans across this state.

In the meantime, federal and local authorities in Texas have called for an investigation into this energy crisis.

70 people dead

Democratic Senator Tina Smith, for her part, called for the opening of a federal investigation into the exponential jump in natural gas prices during the polar cold wave across the United States, in Texas but also in the Midwest.

Beyond the electricity problem, residents of several towns in the "Lone Star State" were left without drinking water on Sunday. In Houston, the instruction to drink only boiled water could notably be in effect until Monday.

This extreme weather episode, which has wreaked havoc across the southern and central United States this week, has claimed the lives of at least 70 people, according to US media.

Anger rises as millions in Texas remain without power and heat .
Winter weather has also shut down Texas energy producers and halted ship traffic out of Houston’s seaport.“I know people are angry and frustrated,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who woke up to more than one million people still without power in the state’s largest city. “So am I.

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