REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

The Texas Disaster

POSTED BY: JEWELSTAITEFAN
UPDATED: Saturday, February 27, 2021 09:37
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Monday, February 22, 2021 3:59 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Some may think this is about the weather which visited Texas the past week or so, but their disaster has been ongoing for years.

Texas has claimed to be at the leading forefront of Tech power, replacing reliable Power sources with Renewable Power, such as Solar Power and Wind Power.

Solar Power output was 0% in the past week, just like in Yurp.
Wind power failed as well. Just like in Yurp.

They have been practicing rolling blackouts for years now, knowing their Renewable Energies wer4e a failure, but just ignoring the problem.


Without energy, pumps could not fuel the trucks. Loaded semis sat idling at the edge of the Texas blackout zone, while store shelves remained empty. Milk had to be dumped, as well as eggs, and livestock died without energy.

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Monday, February 22, 2021 7:58 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Et Tu, Ted? Why Deregulation Failed

At first, those Texans who didn’t lose power in the big freeze considered themselves lucky. But then the bills arrived — and some families found themselves being charged thousands of dollars for a few days of electricity. Many families probably can’t afford to pay those bills, so we’re potentially looking at a wave of personal bankruptcies. And even those who don’t face ruin are, predictably, outraged.

Possibly the most revealing remark of the Texas crisis so far was a tweet by, of all people, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Cancún), who fumed that “no power company should get a windfall because of a natural disaster” and called on “state and local regulators” to “prevent this injustice.”

The senator, not known for self-awareness, may not realize what he did there. But if even Ted Cruz — Ted Cruz! — believes that regulators should prevent power companies from reaping windfall profits in a disaster, that eliminates any private-sector financial incentive to prepare for such a disaster. And that, in turn, destroys the entire premise behind radical deregulation.

So will the Republicans who hold all of Texas’ statewide offices learn from this debacle, and rethink their whole approach to energy policy? Of course not. Their immediate reaction was to falsely blame the crisis on wind power, and lash out at advocates of a Green New Deal — even though something like a Green New Deal, that is, public investment in energy infrastructure, is exactly what Texas needs.

And one thing we’ve definitely learned over the past few months is that once politicians commit themselves to a Big Lie, whether it involves epidemiology, economics or election results, there’s no turning back.

But while the right-wing political-media complex can’t and won’t learn anything from the Texas power debacle, the rest of us can. We’ve just been offered a clear view of the dark (and cold) side of free-market fundamentalism. And that’s a lesson we shouldn’t forget.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/22/opinion/texas-electricity-storm.htm
l


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Monday, February 22, 2021 9:04 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Solar Power is great until the sun isn't out.


--------------------------------------------------

A government is a body of people usually, notably, governed by Mark Zuckerborg and Slack Dorsey.

Collection of links to Second's, Nilbog's and Marcos' death threats: https://cutt.ly/tkCvEX6

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 7:52 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Solar Power is great until the sun isn't out.

Natural gas is great for generating electricity, until hydrates block pipelines, shutting down the power plant furnaces.
https://petrowiki.spe.org/Hydrate_problems_in_production

Coal is great for electricity until the CO2 from burning coal gets high enough to melt glaciers. The last time the atmospheric CO2 amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, when temperature was 3.6°–5.4°F higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 50–80 feet higher than today.
https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-ch
ange-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 9:25 AM

JONGSSTRAW


Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Some may think this is about the weather which visited Texas the past week or so, but their disaster has been ongoing for years.

Texas has claimed to be at the leading forefront of Tech power, replacing reliable Power sources with Renewable Power, such as Solar Power and Wind Power.

Solar Power output was 0% in the past week, just like in Yurp.
WQind power failed as well.


Enron was based in Texas. Biggest energy scam ever. What else does anyone need to know?

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:23 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by Jongsstraw:
Quote:

Originally posted by JEWELSTAITEFAN:
Some may think this is about the weather which visited Texas the past week or so, but their disaster has been ongoing for years.

Texas has claimed to be at the leading forefront of Tech power, replacing reliable Power sources with Renewable Power, such as Solar Power and Wind Power.

Solar Power output was 0% in the past week, just like in Yurp.
WQind power failed as well.


Enron was based in Texas. Biggest energy scam ever. What else does anyone need to know?

Let me check Enron: Oct. 12, 2001 Arthur Andersen legal counsel tells auditors to destroy all Enron files, except Enron's most basic documents. Why? Because Enron's leadership was fooling regulators with fake holdings and off-the-books accounting practices.
https://www.investopedia.com/updates/enron-scandal-summary/

What you were seeing with Enron is that Texans will lie for money.

There is an article about Texans (actually Republicans) lying about solar and wind. Fact Check: Is Green Energy to Blame for Texas' Power Outages? No.
https://www.newsweek.com/fact-check-green-energy-power-cuts-texas-1569
922


It was natural gas and coal that caused Texas' power outage, but the Texans who own coal/oil/gas companies lied because green power is kicking their asses with cheaper energy prices.

By the way, Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen LLP, is defunct because it allowed Enron's Texans to lie freely. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Andersen#Demise

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 3:59 PM

JEWELSTAITEFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by second:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Solar Power is great until the sun isn't out.

Natural gas is great for generating electricity, until hydrates block pipelines, shutting down the power plant furnaces.
https://petrowiki.spe.org/Hydrate_problems_in_production

Hey, dumbass, the adults are talking here, m'kay?

Hydtrates are not stopping Power plants, that is the production plants under sea, at the sea floor level.




And now we enter fairyland, courtesy algore's greatest invention besides the Internet:
Quote:


Coal is great for electricity until the CO2 from burning coal gets high enough to melt glaciers. The last time the atmospheric CO2 amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, when temperature was 3.6°–5.4°F higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 50–80 feet higher than today.
https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-ch
ange-atmospheric-carbon-dioxide


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:41 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Just fyi the endquote [ /quote] function doesn't play well with links. You need to put a space in between the link and the endquote for the endquote to work.


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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 4:59 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



While there are different estimates of how much Texas electricity is generated by which source, and how much of those sources were actually offline during the storm, it's clear that neither solar nor wind power were responsible for either the majority of energy generated during normal times, or for the significant loss of power during the storm.

FWIW I've read that a significant portion of oil and gas electricity production was offline due to 'freezing'. My impression is that this wasn't 'hydrates' but normal water-ice formation at low temperatures. Since a significant portion of oil and nat gas production and transmission (pipeline) is above ground and in metal equipment, and since metal is a fantastic conductor of heat, it seems plausible to me that the entire infrastructure was frozen - and not limited to oil and nat gas production and transmission.


https://d.newsweek.com/en/full/1738339/texas-electricity-generation-st
atista.webp






https://www.eia.gov/state/?sid=TX#tabs-4

These failing sources largely included nuclear plants, coal plants and thermal energy generators. Frozen wind turbines were a factor, too, but Woodfin said wind shutdowns accounted for less than 13% of the outages.
https://www.statesman.com/story/news/2021/02/17/texas-energy-wind-powe
r-outage-natural-gas-renewable-green-new-deal/6780546002
/

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 10:24 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Fossil Fuel Executives Gloat About Profits From Texas Winter Storm Crisis

As a severe winter storm swept Texas last week, cutting electricity from millions of residents in freezing temperatures and causing nearly 70 deaths so far, some energy executives saw an upside to the catastrophe.

“Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot,” boasted Roland Burns, the chief executive and chief financial officer of Comstock Resources, a shale drilling company that benefited from the sudden demand for natural gas, in a call with investors last Wednesday. The price for gas, said Burns, has been “incredible.”

The price of natural gas, which skyrocketed as power plants and industrial consumers scrambled to secure additional supply, benefited other energy interests. Macquarie Group, an investment bank that is the second-biggest physical gas supplier in the U.S., reported a windfall of $210 million from the swing in gas and electricity prices.

More at https://theintercept.com/2021/02/23/texas-winter-storm-gas-prices-exec
utives
/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 11:03 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:

Just fyi the endquote [ /quote] function doesn't play well with links. You need to put a space in between the link and the endquote for the endquote to work.






It's nice to know that at least a few people on these boards are still intelligent and courteous.

This is a problem that happens nearly every day here. I just don't make a fuss about it unless somebody chronically screws it up like idiot Ted.


--------------------------------------------------

A government is a body of people usually, notably, governed by Mark Zuckerborg and Slack Dorsey.

Collection of links to Second's, Nilbog's and Marcos' death threats: https://cutt.ly/tkCvEX6

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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 11:10 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


lol

Why would a dummy ever admit to that?

Looks like Mr. Burns is trying to Cuomo himself.


lol... Mr. Burns...

This shit just writes itself.




--------------------------------------------------

A government is a body of people usually, notably, governed by Mark Zuckerborg and Slack Dorsey.

Collection of links to Second's, Nilbog's and Marcos' death threats: https://cutt.ly/tkCvEX6

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:00 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Surviving the Texas Freeze in a Gerrymandered City

The Texas freeze proved that our representatives feel no obligation to their constituents.

The first I heard from my congressman was at 5:14 p.m. last Tuesday, some 39 hours after Austinites began reporting they’d lost power in the midst of a deadly winter freeze. The high that day was 26 degrees, the low 7, and when the email came, my husband and I had just slid a half-mile down icy, barren streets to get warm at a friend’s apartment, our own heat and electricity having gone out that morning.

The congressman was not emailing to see how we were holding up. Instead, he seemed primarily concerned with assigning blame for the outages, which would leave, at their height, 4 million Texans without power and result in overwhelmed hospitals and an as-yet-unknown number of deaths. “Radical ideologies have politicized energy policy at the state and federal levels in recent years,” he declared, echoing the sentiments of other Republicans, who had already begun falsely blaming renewable energy sources as the primary reason for the outages. The congressman was in touch with various agencies to see how “additional federal deregulation” might solve the problem. To those still without heat and electricity, he suggested consulting an outage map for which he’d forgotten to include the URL; the “here” we were to click on linked to nothing.

The day after Roy’s initial email, subfreezing conditions continuing and much of Austin’s power, including ours, still out with no end in sight, the congressman released a statement not explaining how he planned to help the struggling citizens of his district but eulogizing Rush Limbaugh. “You may now return your talent to God, loaned to you to share with us all these years,” he wrote.

Roy wasn’t the only Austin Republican whose priorities did not seem to include looking out for Austinites last week. Like Roy, Rep. Roger Williams of the 25th District, was offering his own condolences to Limbaugh (“I’ll always cherish the time I got to spend with him”) and, bizarrely, attacking New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (“Rule #1 for the Socialist Democrat Party, use any crisis available to lasso control”).

By contrast, Austin’s lone Democratic representative, Lloyd Doggett, who was also operating without power for much of last week, nonetheless used his social media feeds as a clearinghouse for essential information like where to find water, food, and warming shelters. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez has raised $5 million in relief money for Texans, while former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who currently does not hold elective office, ran a virtual phone bank through which volunteers made almost 800,000 phone calls to Texas seniors, connecting them with food, water and transportation.

More at https://web.archive.org/web/20210224203447/https://slate.com/news-and-
politics/2021/02/texas-gerrymandering-freeze-power-outages-chip-roy.html


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Wednesday, February 24, 2021 6:39 PM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Oh... lol. You're suggesting that Democrats will fix the problem.

That's funny.




--------------------------------------------------

A government is a body of people usually, notably, governed by Mark Zuckerborg and Slack Dorsey.

Collection of links to Second's, Nilbog's and Marcos' death threats: https://cutt.ly/tkCvEX6

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 9:34 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:

Oh... lol. You're suggesting that Democrats will fix the problem.

That's funny.

The Great Texas Power Rip-Off

Two decades ago Texas deregulated its power sector and required 60% of its residents to buy electricity from a retail power company. The other 40% stuck with traditional local utilities. The Wall Street Journal shows us the results:


According to the Journal, retail customers have paid $28 billion more for their power since 2004 than they would have paid at the rates charged to the customers of the state’s traditional utilities:

From 2004 through 2019, the annual rate for electricity from Texas’s traditional utilities was 8% lower, on average, than the nationwide average rate, while the rates of retail providers averaged 13% higher than the nationwide rate, according to the Journal’s analysis.

The Texas Coalition for Affordable Power, a group that buys electricity for local government use, produced similar findings in a study of the state’s power markets and concluded that high statewide prices relative to the national average “must be attributed to the deregulated sector of Texas.”

So what happens now? Probably nothing. In Texas, deregulation is something like a religion: it works by definition, even if it doesn't work. Just give it another 20 years and you'll see.

https://jabberwocking.com/chart-of-the-day-the-great-texas-power-rip-o
ff
/

None of this was supposed to happen under deregulation. Backers of competition in the electricity-supply business promised it would lower prices for consumers.

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:21 AM

REAVERFAN


Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Solar Power is great until the sun isn't out.



Here comes idiot boy, eager to again show us how fucking stupid he is, and he didn't disappoint.

You fucking moron. You don't know shit, and never will. Your brain started out weak, and your drug addictions have just destroyed it even further. You're basically a vegetable. It's a marvel you can remember to breathe.

Give your family (you don't have any friends) what they deserve. Make them rejoice. Kill yourself.

Your entire life is spent pulling on your permanently limp 2" pud, fantasizing about murdering black people for your god Trump.

You're too weak to actually defend yourself, though. You'll be the first to die. We will all toast your death. All of us.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 10:38 AM

6IXSTRINGJACK


Quote:

Originally posted by reaverfan:
Quote:

Originally posted by 6ixStringJack:
Solar Power is great until the sun isn't out.



Here comes idiot boy, eager to again show us how fucking stupid he is, and he didn't disappoint.

You fucking moron. You don't know shit, and never will. Your brain started out weak, and your drug addictions have just destroyed it even further. You're basically a vegetable. It's a marvel you can remember to breathe.

Give your family (you don't have any friends) what they deserve. Make them rejoice. Kill yourself.

Your entire life is spent pulling on your permanently limp 2" pud, fantasizing about murdering black people for your god Trump.

You're too weak to actually defend yourself, though. You'll be the first to die. We will all toast your death. All of us.



27.




--------------------------------------------------

A government is a body of people usually, notably, governed by Mark Zuckerborg and Slack Dorsey.

Collection of links to Second's, Nilbog's and Marcos' death threats: https://cutt.ly/tkCvEX6

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:12 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



This is originally a Bloomberg story. But since Bloomberg's behind a paywall, here's the Yahoo! reprint version.

Quote:

The Two Hours That Nearly Destroyed Texas’s Electric Grid


(Bloomberg) -- The control room of the Texas electric grid is dominated by a Cineplex-sized screen along one wall. As outdoor temperatures plunged to arctic levels around the low-slung building 30 miles from Austin last Sunday night, all eyes were on it. The news wasn’t good.

Electric demand for heat across the state was soaring, as expected, but green dots on the corner state map started flipping to red. Each was a regional power generator, and they were spontaneously shutting down — three coal plants followed quickly by a gas plant in Corpus Christi.

Then another metric began to flash: frequency, a measure of electricity flow on the grid. The 60 hertz needed for stability fell to 59.93.

Bill Magness, chief executive officer of the grid operator, was watching intently and understood instantly what was at stake. Below 59 and the state’s electrical system would face cascading blackouts that would take weeks or months to restore. (All hail the smart grid! kiki) In India in 2012, 700 million people were plunged into darkness in such a moment.

Texas was “seconds and minutes” from such a catastrophe, Magness recalled. It shouldn’t have been happening. After the winter blackouts of 2011, plants should have protected themselves against such low temperatures. The basis of the Texas system is the market — demand soars, you make money. Demand was soaring last Sunday, but the plants were shutting down.

If insufficient power came in, the grid wouldn’t be able to support the energy demand from customers and the other power plants that supply them, causing a cycle of dysfunction. So over the following hours, grid operators ordered the largest forced power outage in U.S. history.

More than 2,000 miles away in San Juan, Puerto Rico, power trader Adam Sinn had been sitting at his computer watching the frequency chart plummet in real time. He knew the dip would be enough to start forcing power plants offline, potentially causing more widespread blackouts. It was an unprecedented situation but, from his perspective, entirely avoidable.

In fact, it was a crisis years in the making. Texas’s power grid ... is famously independent — and insular. Its self-contained grid ... is powered almost entirely in-state with limited import ability ..., thereby allowing the system to avoid federal oversight. ... It’s also an energy-only market, meaning the grid relies on price signals from extreme power prices to spur investments in new power plants, batteries and other supplies.

There is no way to contract power supply to meet the highest demand periods, something known as a capacity market on other grids. There are no mandates or penalties compelling generators to make supply available when it’s needed, or to cold-proof their equipment for storms like the one that slammed Texas last weekend.

So, as the cold began shutting in natural gas supplies, freezing instruments at power plants and icing over wind turbines, there wasn’t enough back-up generation available to meet demand.
As many as 5 million homes and businesses were abruptly thrust into frigid darkness for nearly four straight days as the crisis continued, ensnaring more than a dozen other states as far as away as California and roiling commodity markets across the globe.

Now, as the snow across Texas melts and the lights come back on, answers remain hard to come by. What’s clear is that no one — neither the power plants that failed to cold-proof their equipment nor the grid operator charged with safeguarding the electric system — was prepared for such an extreme weather event. What happened in those two hours highlights just how vulnerable even the most sophisticated energy systems are to the vagaries of climate change, and how close it all came to crashing down.

The warning signs started well before the cold set in. Nearly a week before the blackouts began, the operator of a wind farm in Texas alerted the grid manager, known as Ercot, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, that ice from the impending storm could force it offline, an early signal that capacity on the system would likely be compromised.

On Thursday, a natural gas trader trying to secure supplies for his company’s power plants for the holiday weekend was surprised to see prices surging. The reason? There were concerns that gas production in West Texas was at risk of freezing off, which would crimp supplies for power generation. And Sinn, the owner of Aspire Commodities, noticed from his computer in San Juan that day-ahead power prices on Texas’s grid were climbing, a sign that the market was anticipating scarcity.

By Saturday, a considerable amount of capacity was already offline, some of it for routine maintenance and some of it due to weather. This is because in Texas peak demand is associated with summer heat so many plants do routine maintenance in winter.

Wind was the first to go, as dense fog settled over turbine fleets, freezing on contact. The slow build-up of moisture over several days caused some of the blades to ice over, while connection lines began to droop under the weight of the ice until power production from some wind farms completely ceased. But because the resource makes up a minor share of Texas’s wintertime power mix, grid operators didn’t view it as a big problem. Then gas generation began declining. That was inconvenient, but not unmanageable. There was still plenty of supply on the system.

On Sunday, the mood in the control room grew tense. As the cold deepened, demand climbed sharply, hitting and then exceeding the state’s all-time winter peak. But the lights stayed on. Magness and his director of system operations, Dan Woodfin, watched the monitors from an adjoining room, satisfied that they had made it through the worst of the crisis.

“We thought maybe we are OK for the rest of the night,” Magness said.

They weren’t.

At 11 p.m., the green dots on the monitor overlooking the control room turned red. Across the state, power plant owners started seeing instruments on their lines freezing and causing their plants to go down. In some cases, well shut-ins (wells where production is turned off - kiki) in West Texas caused gas supplies to dip, reducing pressure at gas plants and forcing them offline. At that point, virtually all of the generation falling off the grid came from coal or gas plants.

“Contrary to some early hot takes, gas and coal were actually the biggest culprits in the crisis,” said Eric Fell, director of North America gas at Wood MacKenzie.


Back in Taylor, the town northeast of Austin, where Ercot is based, orange and red emergency displays began flashing on the giant flat-screens that lined the operators’ workstations.

“It happened very fast — there were several that went off in a row,” Magness said.

In the span of 30 minutes, 2.6 gigawatts of capacity had disappeared from Texas’s power grid, enough to power half a million homes.

“The key operators realized, this has got to stop. This isn’t allowed to happen,” said Magness.


By that point, the temperature outside had fallen to 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 Celsius). Across the state, streets were icing over and snowbanks piling up. Demand kept climbing. And plants kept falling offline.

No one in the room had anticipated this. And it was about to get worse.

The generation outages were causing frequency to fall — as much as 0.5 hertz in a half-hour. “Then we started to see lots of generation come off,” Magness said.

To stem the plunge, operators would have to start “shedding load.” All at once, control room staff began calling transmission operators across the state, ordering them to start cutting power to their customers.

“As we shed load and the frequency continued to decline, we ordered another block of load shed and the frequency declined further, and we ordered another block of load shed,” said Woodfin, who slept in his office through the crisis.

Operators removed 10 gigawatts of demand from 1:30 a.m. until 2:30 a.m., essentially cutting power to 2 million homes in one fell swoop.


The utility that services San Antonio, CPS Energy, was one of those that got an order to cut power.

“We excluded anything critical, any circuit that had a hospital or police,” CPS chief executive Paula Gold-Williams said Friday. “We kept the airport up.”

Alton McCarver’s apartment in Austin was one of the homes that lost power. The IT worker woke shivering at 2:30 a.m., an hour after the blackouts began, and tried turning up the thermostat. “Even my dog, he was shaking in the house because he was so cold,” he said.

McCarver wanted to take his wife and 9-year-old daughter to shelter with a friend who still had power, but the steep hills around their home were coated in ice and he didn’t think they could make the drive safely. “You’re hungry, you’re frustrated, you’re definitely cold,” he said. “I was mostly worried about my family.”

The power cuts worked — at least in so far as Ercot managed to keep demand below rapidly falling supply.

But the grid operator shed load so rapidly that some generators and market watchers have wondered whether they exacerbated the problem.

What’s more, frequency continued to fluctuate through the early hours of the morning, potentially causing even more power plants to trip, according to Ercot market participants. The Sandy Creek coal plant near Waco was one them, falling offline at 1:56 a.m. in tandem with the frequency dip, according to data from the plant operator.

Ercot, however, maintains that the frequency stayed above the level at which plants would trip.

And as blackouts spread across the state, power was cut not only to homes and businesses but to the compressor stations that power natural gas pipelines — further cutting off the flow of supplies to power plants.


Power supplies became so scarce that what were supposed to be “rolling” blackouts ended up lasting for days at a time, leaving millions of Texans without lights, heat and, eventually without water. Even the Ercot control center lost water, and had to bring in portable toilets for its staff.

“It’s just catastrophic,” said Tony Clark, a former commissioner with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and a senior adviser at law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP.

By Friday, when Ercot declared that the emergency had ended, 14.4 million people still lacked reliable access to public water supplies, and the crisis had already cost the state $50 billion in damages, according to Accuweather. Meanwhile, some generators made a windfall as energy prices soared to $9,000 a megawatt-hour during the crisis. In all, generators have earned more than $44.6 billion in electricity sales alone this year — more than 2018-2020 combined, according to Wood Mackenzie. Those earnings don’t take into account any hedges that may have been in place.

In the wake of the blackouts, the Public Utility Commission of Texas announced an investigation into the factors that led to the disaster.

But at least the lights were coming back on. In the afternoon, shell-shocked people trickled out of their homes to soak up the sun. “It feels crazy standing outside in the 40 degree sunlight,” said Cassie Moore, a 35-year-old writer and educator, who offered up her shower and washing machine to her boss and friends who were still without power or water. “In this same spot a few days ago I was worried that my dogs might freeze to death.”

—With Javier Blas

(Updates with electricity sales total in third-to-last paragraph. A previous version corrected the individuals responsible for ordering the blackouts in the sixth paragraph and the timing and scope of the generation decline at Sandy Creek coal plant in the 37th paragraph, based on data shared by the plant operator. )

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
https://finance.yahoo.com/news/two-hours-nearly-destroyed-texas-130009
983.html



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Thursday, February 25, 2021 1:21 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.




This seems to be the crux of the problem: "Texas’s power grid (is) also an energy-only market, meaning the grid relies on price signals from extreme power prices to spur investments in new power plants, batteries and other supplies."

But why use-up profits to build new production, especially when keeping production low and products in short supply means you can jack up sales prices to extreme levels?

This is an oft-repeated failure of 'capitalism'-only economics (even in theory, and most definitely in practice) across many products and markets. When producers/ manufactures/ monopolies/ consortia have a lock on the market and there's no significant competition you get far higher profits by keeping production down.

It's the reasoning behind OPEC, for example - agreements to limit production across producers to keep sales prices high.

So there's no mystery why Texas failed to prepare for cold weather after 2011. It didn't pay then - and it won't pay now.

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 3:41 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


The ERCOT grid, Magness said in a separate call yesterday with reporters, was “seconds and minutes” away from a total blackout—an uncontrolled event that, had it happened, later would have required essentially firing it up from dead. The procedure, known in the industry as a “black start,” never has happened in Texas but is the subject of annual ERCOT drills. It would involve activating diesel generators at designated power plants across the state to restart them, gradually reintroducing electricity into nearby power lines, then linking together these re-powered “islands” until the ERCOT grid is back up, Dan Woodfin, ERCOT’s senior director of system operations, explained Friday. “It’s just an incredibly difficult process and takes time,” he said.

Had such a blackout occurred, it would have brought the state to its knees, potentially for weeks or months, an economy that would rank tenth globally if Texas were a country. The emergency required “immediate action,” Magness said, which is why ERCOT began ordering what it terms the “controlled” blackouts that cut off electricity to much of the state.

https://www.texasmonthly.com/politics/texas-blackout-preventable/

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Thursday, February 25, 2021 4:16 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



We get that.

You just can't have power generators providing power as they gear up to speed or wind down, because that messes with the frequency. And considering how big those suckers are, restarting would take a long, long time.


Oh, I was too lazy to look this up earlier, but there is the phase diagram for clathrate (methane hydrate ice):



and converting kpa pressure to the more familiar psig, the charted range is from 0 to ~17,404psig with the first denote at ~2900psig; and converting Celsius to the more familiar Fahrenheit, the range is from ~1.5F to ~95F. The minimum pressure and temperature limits beyond which clathrates will never form appear to be at around ambient pressure and 10F. The recent temperatures in Texas were marginally above the limits for clathrate to exist.


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Thursday, February 25, 2021 5:39 PM

REAVERFAN


Texas’ Libertarian Winter Nightmare
The blackouts and misery of Texas are because of free-market ideology.
https://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/2021/02/texas-nightmare-
winter-libertarianism/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Imagine+No+Religion&utm_content=44



And let’s be clear: None of this had to happen. This wasn’t unforeseeable or outside our control; it wasn’t human civilization overwhelmed by unstoppable nature. It was, in every sense of the word, a man-made catastrophe. And it happened because of libertarian, free-market ideology run wild.

Start with this fact: Alone among the states, Texas has its own power grid, like an isolated island in the middle of the country. The reason is explicitly ideological. By building a grid that doesn’t cross state lines, Texas avoids federal regulation.

But this also means that in an emergency, it can’t import power from neighboring states. Some outlying regions, like El Paso, connect to the national grid instead of the state grid – and in El Paso, the lights stayed on.

In keeping with its laissez-faire ideology, Texas also doesn’t mandate that power plants prepare for extreme weather. Its regulations are more like gentle suggestions. An operator can be fined for not having a plan, but there are no requirements for what the plan has to say or whether they actually have to do anything to implement it.

They don’t even have the excuse that no one could have seen this coming, because this isn’t the first time that the cold brought Texas to its knees. Just ten years ago, a similar freeze caused similar blackouts, leaving 3 million people in the dark:
----

Face it Russian trolls and trumptards: Your moronic ideology caused it. Nothing else.




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Friday, February 26, 2021 3:27 PM

1KIKI

Goodbye, kind world (George Monbiot) - In common with all those generations which have contemplated catastrophe, we appear to be incapable of understanding what confronts us.



Thanks for agreeing with me.
Quote:

Originally posted by 1KIKI:
This is an oft-repeated failure of 'capitalism'-only economics (even in theory, and most definitely in practice) ...


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Friday, February 26, 2021 7:22 PM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


'Muzzled and eviscerated': Texas Governor Abbott's appointees gutted enforcement of Texas grid rules

A decade ago, after an Arctic cold spell knocked out power and left millions of Texans shivering in the dark, the Public Utility Commission’s enforcement apparatus swung into action. Their aim: punish the companies that had promised but failed to deliver electricity in an emergency.

Specialists contracted by the state agency worked with an enforcement team the utility commission created four years earlier. More recently, it had added lawyers whose only job was to pursue wrong-doing. The energy companies eventually paid fines and settlements totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to prepare for the extreme weather.

Two weeks ago, history repeated. Millions of residents were left without power and water in below-freezing temperatures. The damage far exceeded the 2011 storm. Nearly a third of the grid’s power plants went offline. Dozens of deaths have been attributed to the event, with a full accounting yet to come.

But the enforcement tools that worked to hold companies accountable for the 2011 failures had been removed under Gov. Greg Abbott’s appointees on the utility commission. Hearst Newspapers reported last week that commissioners in November cut ties with the Texas Reliability Entity — the specialists hired — leaving state regulators without an external independent reliability monitor.

Four months before that, the governor’s commissioners had also disbanded the Oversight & Enforcement Division. The head attorney was told he no longer had a job; nine other team members were reassigned throughout the utility commission.

Several pending cases were dropped. According to commission records, by the end of 2020 the number of enforcement cases had fallen 40 percent.

Critics and former employees say the division was cut precisely because it was working — the state’s most recent move in a 25-year campaign to pare down oversight to favor energy companies and their largest customers, starting when Texas began deregulating its electric market in the 1990s.

The governor’s office disputed that . . .

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/critics-abbott
-power-grid-rules-texas-deadly-storm-15982421.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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Saturday, February 27, 2021 9:37 AM

SECOND

The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly


Natural gas distribution needs electricity: About half the gas pipelines use electricity for their compressors, but many were not listed as essential services and have said their power was cut off, creating gas supply problems for power plants.

Two kinds of winterization: Texas lawmakers have long known of the need to winterize Texas power plants, roughly a third of which went offline during the disaster, but natural gas shortages caused by frozen wellheads and power disruptions were the biggest reported hindrance for power plants.

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/politics/texas/article/Texas-lawmaker
s-call-for-Public-Utility-15982430.php


The Joss Whedon script for Serenity, where Wash lives, is Serenity-190pages.pdf at www.mediafire.com/folder/1uwh75oa407q8/Firefly

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