More Than 3 Million Are Still Without Power In Texas 02/17/2021
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According to poweroutages.us, 3,475,331 Texans are still in the dark on Wednesday due to a severe winter storm and rolling blackouts. The rolling blackouts are due to too much demand on electricity utilities and the freezing of power equipment.
Meanwhile, as residents of the lone star state suffer extremely low temperatures not common for Texas, an estimated three million barrels of oil per day remain offline. Power production for natural gas, coal, and other fuels has been affected.
West Texas intermediate crude futures prices jumped as much as 2 percent to trade at $61.25 per barrel. International benchmark Brent crude was slightly higher at $63.51 per barrel. Gasoline futures were up to about 1 percent though natural gas edged lower after rising on Tuesday. Heating oil futures are higher.
Market analysts have said that because oil wells and refineries are offline, the state may be facing a substantial shortfall for a number of days.
The power outages have caused doubts about the stability of the electric grid. Some members of Congress are calling for hearings on why the Texas grid has failed.
Republican lawmakers and right-winger pundits opposed to the Biden administration’s clean energy program blamed the problems in Texas to the growing use of wind power for the outages.
However, the supply from all sources of electricity plummeted in the state due to frozen instruments at coal, nuclear and natural gas power plants as well as a limited supply of natural gas. Actually, wind energy surpassed daily production forecasts during the past weekend.
Adding to the problem, homes in Texas are designed to maintain temperatures about 30°F cooler than the air outside because of sizzling summers, not to hold in the heat.
Heating and cooling of Texas homes is focused on summer demand peaks. As a result of the winter storm, Texas homes are attempting to keep a 60°F difference and they’re not designed to do that.
As a result of the severe cold Texans are experiencing, some local officials are getting chippie. On Tuesday morning, residents in Colorado City, Texas were concerned. They had suffered severe cold in their homes for more than 24 hours. In addition, they had no running water, forcing them to haul in buckets of snow whenever they needed to flush their toilets.
Residents asked on a community Facebook group page whether the town planned to set up warming shelters and if firefighters could do their job without water. The Mayor of Colorado City responded that the local government had no responsibility to help citizens and “only the tough would survive.” “No one owes you (or) your family anything, the Mayor posted on Facebook. The comment has since been removed.
Texas is not the only state that has initiated rolling blackouts as a result of the severe winter storm. Missouri, too, is using the remedy to battle too much demand for electricity. Energy Missouri started the blackouts on Monday and extended them into Tuesday, cutting power for 30 minutes to an hour in service areas before rotating to other areas.
The Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which manages power distribution in sections of 14 states including Missouri and Kansas, also ordered controlled outages. However, by midday on Tuesday SPP lifted the requirement and downgraded the alert. They did, however ask customers to conserve energy.
The states with the most outages as of Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. EST were:
- Texas – 3,425,331
- Oregon – 158,960
- Kentucky – 100,900
- West Virginia – 73,190
- Louisiana -47,117
- West Virginia -73,190
- Virginia – 40,948
- Ohio – 23,562
As climate change becomes more of an issue and as many segments of the country are calling for action on the part of the federal government, a power outage in any region of the United States becomes more possible. No one would want to go through what the residents of Texas are going through now. Yet, power outages have become a year ‘round occurrence.
To assure that your family is safe and warm or cool depending on the weather, you should consider a backup generator for your home. APElectric offers a wide inventory of products from some of the best brands in the industry. Visit the company’s website for information on the generators that are available.