WASHINGTON, D.C. (KFDX/KJTL) — Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-TX) has spent the last four days without water braving the historic winter storm with his family along with millions of other Texans.
This week, Jackson and other Texas lawmakers sent a letter to ERCOT, the nonprofit council that oversees the state’s power grid. The letter is asking for answers on why millions of Texans were left without power.
Jackson said the power outages prove legislation like the Green New Deal isn’t ready for showtime yet because renewable energy is not reliable and self-sufficient. Natural gas is the state’s dominant energy source.
“The New Green Deal mandates that all fossil fuels, natural gas, and everything, go away, completely, 100 percent gone, and to be replaced completely with renewable energy, “Jackson said. “Well, that’s fine if that day ever comes when those renewable forms of energy are reliable. This has proved, very vividly for everyone in the state of Texas, that those sources of energy are not reliable.”
According to the ERCOT officials, renewable energy made up only a third of the lost power on the state’s power grid earlier this week. The Texas Tribune reports nearly double that capacity had been lost from thermal energy like gas and coal. Frozen wind turbines did contribute to the state’s energy crisis, but the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has made clear that renewable energy failures have played only a small part in the crisis.
About 56 percent of Texas’ energy comes from natural gas, just under 24 percent comes from wind, 19 percent from coal, and almost 9 percent from nuclear energy.
The widspead outages have also called into question that fact that Texas has its own power grid. ERCOT is taksed with managing grid reliablity and it is not regulated by the federal governoment. However after the power outage disaster this week, some Democrats are critizing Republican’s overnight of the energy industry.
However, Jackson thinks grid independence is something that needs to stay. He said one reason is because not being federally regulated saves the state money.
“I don’t want to be regulated by the federal government and I think most people in Texas take pride in the fact that we do not and that we are independent,” Jackson said. “It’s one of those mantras, ‘If you don’t regulate yourself, someone else will regulate you.'”
Jackson said it’s now important to make sure Texas’ grid is reliable going forward.
The Texas power crisis took a surprising turn Wednesday night with a photo of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) was posted on social media. In the photo, he was boarding a plane with his family to Mexico. The former presendtial candidate is now facing wide criticsm for the trip at a time when many across Texas were dealing with power outages and freezing temperatures.
Cruz said the trip was meant to be a much-needed vacation for his two daughters during a difficult time and said he felt regret as soon as he got on the plane.
Jackson admitted it isn’t a good look.
“I love Ted Cruz,” Jackson said. “He’s done a lot of great things for our country and for our state, but obviously that is not the image that I would want as an elected member of Congres and I’m sure that’s not the imagine that he wanted to create.”
Cruz’s trip was met with criticism from both Democrats and Republicans in Texas, some even calling on him to resign.