# Texas in Crisis

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
I highly doubt water mains never break in Russia.

In Russia, water main break you!

#### Jarhyn

##### Wizard
Trevor Noah has a show on the Texas outage. Fast-forward to 8:00, just before he explains how AOC can provide a new source of power for the state.

Come on, somebody! Watch the last minute of the YouTube and give Trevor a laughing-face emoticon.

I despise youtube. Pretty much any thing linked to me in that platform will not be watched.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
I had read that the Texas power capacity, being deregulated, is very much based on using cost to keep supply and demand in check. When demand goes up the costs go up very quickly in order to decrease demand. That means that there is very little excess capacity to handle demand spikes created either by extreme heat or extreme cold. The power producers make most of their money when demand spikes and the prices paid by consumers spikes, so there is little to no incentive to have a power capacity buffer as the buffer would just decrease profits.

On top of that no economic incentive to make the system more hardened against extreme weather as we see here. Everything done on the cheap to maximize profits. Wind is just one example of things done on the cheap. Alaska depends a great deal on wind for it's electrical needs but you don't see the wind turbines freezing up in Alaska because they
have been made to withstand extreme cold.

Just another example of the failure of the free market to meeting the needs of the society.
It got so bad, one of the local utilities was begging its customers to cancel their service and get their power from another local provider. They are apparently unable to control their own rates (or would lose so much that they'd go out of business since their costs also fluctuate, I guess?). The rates skyrocketed to something $9k/kWh, I forget the exact rate, but it was crazy, as in people would be looking at$2-3k bills if their energy use stayed the same!

Staff member

Houston.

#### Gospel

##### Unify Africa
Underwriter: steups, "clearly they didn't use towels, mop or a bucket to mitigate the damage".

#### Jimmy Higgins

##### Contributor
Man, a foot or so more and it would have just gone down the sink.

As far as explaining how that happened, that doesn't look like a kitchen in a home that people are currently living in, ie a rental.

Also, I don't know if I've never seen a dropped ceiling in a kitchen before.

#### Cheerful Charlie

Up north, wind turbines have heater systems to de-ice the blades and protect their generators. Texas turbines do not have this as the added expense was deemed not necessary. On average Texas receives 22% to 25% of energy needs from wind, depending on the season. That dropped to 19% during this storm. Up North, gas pipelines have dehumidifiers to knock water out of natural gas before it goes into the pipes. Texas mostly does not, again, to save $. So ice can build up in the pipeline and restrict or even stop natural gas flow. Northern states have learned to prepare natural gas systems to stay operational in long, very cold winter storms. Texas payed not much attention to those lessons learned. "Well Bradshaw, it's like in the army you know. The great prince issues commands, founds states, vests families with fiefs. Inferior people should not be employed." - Firesign Theater - Nick Danger, Third Eye #### T.G.G. Moogly ##### Traditional Atheist I don't think Canadian wind turbines freeze up--or at least I haven't heard of such a thing. Those are socialist, regulated wind turbines. The wind turbines in Texas are free of commie oversight. Lets hear it for libertarian utopia. #### Worldtraveller ##### Veteran Member I don't think Canadian wind turbines freeze up--or at least I haven't heard of such a thing. Those are socialist, regulated wind turbines. The wind turbines in Texas are free of commie oversight. Lets hear it for libertarian utopia. FREEEEEDUMB!! #### GenesisNemesis ##### Veteran Member I don't think Canadian wind turbines freeze up--or at least I haven't heard of such a thing. Those are socialist, regulated wind turbines. The wind turbines in Texas are free of commie oversight. Lets hear it for libertarian utopia. FREEEEEDUMB!! Trump supporters' brains do freeze up, though. #### ronburgundy ##### Contributor So, Cruz took his family to Cancun today while his constituents freeze to death b/c of policies he and his party support. Also, there's this. #### Swammerdami ##### Squadron Leader Staff member So, Cruz took his family to Cancun today while his constituents freeze to death b/c of policies he and his party support. Also, there's this. Even just viewing a jpeg, where intimate contact is impossible (except via an ESP-like sense, or as in the Deja Vu movie) I viscerally smell his fetid farts. The putrid aroma makes me want to puke. #### ideologyhunter ##### Veteran Member His wife is a three at best and his dad was at the parking lot above the grassy knoll at midday on that Friday with an Italian-made carbine. (Don't mind me. I'm angling for a staff position at Ted's office.) #### lpetrich ##### Contributor #### lpetrich ##### Contributor Jerry Jones' Company Hits 'Jackpot' As Storms Send Gas Prices Surging : Live Updates: Winter Storms 2021 : NPR But for oil and gas producers that have managed to keep production going, this is proving to be a big payday. Jerry Jones, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Cowboys, appears to be one of the beneficiaries. Comstock Resources Inc., a shale driller that operates in Texas and Louisiana, told investors on an earnings call this week that the surge in natural gas prices was providing it with a major — albeit almost certainly temporary — financial boost. The company is publicly traded but Jones holds a majority of the shares. then NPR on Twitter: "A drilling company that operates in Texas and Louisiana told investors that the surge in natural gas prices — amid powerful winter storms — was giving it a major financial boost. "Obviously, this week is like hitting the jackpot," CFO Roland Burns said. (list)" / Twitter then Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Twitter: "Fossil fuel billionaires are profiting off this nightmare. CFOs called it a “jackpot.” The reason GOP are scrambling to blame the Green New Deal is bc it’s the biggest legislative threat against the corrupt powers responsible for (& benefiting from) the suffering unfolding now." / Twitter Ted Cruz flew to Cancún as millions of Texans endure power outages | The Texas Tribune Ted Cruz says leaving Texas during winter disaster was "obviously a mistake" as he returns from Cancún. First spotted at an airport by a social media user who posted his photo, there was an immediate outcry overnight that a U.S. senator would travel out of the state amid the worst storm in many Texans' lifetimes. ... "I was trying to be a dad, and all of us have made decisions — when you've got two girls who have been cold for two days and haven't had heater power, and they're saying 'Hey, look we don't have school why don't we go, let's get out of here.' I think there are a lot of parents that would be like, 'Look, if I can do this great.' That's what I wanted to do," he told the TV station. "[But] really from the moment I sat on the plane, I began really second-guessing that decision, and saying 'Look, I know why we're doing this, but I've also got responsibilities, and it had been my intention to be able to work remotely, to be on the phone, to be on the internet, to be on Zoom, to be engaged, but I needed to be here and that's why I came back." #### lpetrich ##### Contributor #### barbos ##### Contributor I find that hard to believe. What you are willing to believe isn't all too relevant. I still don't believe it. (I am talking about major water lines) Maybe near house, but not main pipes. You can easily damage it by driving over it or doing yard work. Regardless, 6 inches is deep enough to not freeze in one week of slightly subzero temperature. Generally water pipes are prone to fail at its point of greatest weakness. It doesn't all need to freeze, just one part... like say where a valve is located. And main pipes are plastic anyway. You do realize that our infrastructure wasn't built in 2010, right? While new construction involves PVC, it hasn't always been PVC. Water lines in the US are made of all sorts of materials, including lead. I was talking about major water lines. The ones which are at least 5" thick, They are deep and they are PE in new construction. It's clear that second floor copper piping froze up and burst in these videos. Main valve is fine. This is stupid. Whole houses collapse because they did not know that water supply should be cut off. It all depends on where the valves are located. Now you are going to tell me that main valve was on a second floor? #### barbos ##### Contributor And I highly doubt water mains never break in Russia. Not on such supposedly massive scale #### ideologyhunter ##### Veteran Member Water mains? Russkie? We Russkies pride ourselves on our water mains, all made in first Five Year Plan (1919-1957). Less rust than Romanov mains!! Subject of great USSR feature film Vatvy-Monsk 257 (Water Main 257), which ran on double bill with Traktrizhk Rubinsk (Big Red Tractor) in State Cinema, 1959-1970. Many audience see films. Many Soviet babies conceived during double feature. #### barbos ##### Contributor Water mains? Russkie? We Russkies pride ourselves on our water mains, all made in first Five Year Plan (1919-1957). Less rust than Romanov mains!! Subject of great USSR feature film Vatvy-Monsk 257 (Water Main 257), which ran on double bill with Traktrizhk Rubinsk (Big Red Tractor) in State Cinema, 1959-1970. Many audience see films. Many Soviet babies conceived during double feature. Nah, keep your day job. #### Jimmy Higgins ##### Contributor I still don't believe it. (I am talking about major water lines) Maybe near house, but not main pipes. You can easily damage it by driving over it or doing yard work. Regardless, 6 inches is deep enough to not freeze in one week of slightly subzero temperature. Generally water pipes are prone to fail at its point of greatest weakness. It doesn't all need to freeze, just one part... like say where a valve is located. And main pipes are plastic anyway. You do realize that our infrastructure wasn't built in 2010, right? While new construction involves PVC, it hasn't always been PVC. Water lines in the US are made of all sorts of materials, including lead. I was talking about major water lines. The ones which are at least 5" thick, They are deep and they are PE in new construction. Our major water lines are 100 years old and growing! It's a good thing they built them well the first time! We pretty much let things fail and fix them as they do. We don't need freezing weather to have burst water mains. It all depends on where the valves are located. Now you are going to tell me that main valve was on a second floor? As I noted later, it doesn't look like anyone was living there and that image is an empty rental... well... was a rental and will be a rental once the damage is fixed. #### TSwizzle ##### Let's Go Brandon! And I highly doubt water mains never break in Russia. Not on such supposedly massive scale Water mains break quite frequently in the Los Angeles area. They are long overdue for replacement but not many seem to get replaced prior to failure. No money apparently but somehow California managed to raise and squander billions of dollars on a "high speed rail" project that few people wanted and even fewer will actually use. We were told to restrict our showers to two minutes, not flush the toilet for number ones, not to water our lawns, not to wash our cars and turn the tap off when brushing your teeth. Priorities eh ? #### GenesisNemesis ##### Veteran Member No money apparently but somehow California managed to raise and squander billions of dollars on a "high speed rail" project that few people wanted and even fewer will actually use. False. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_1A,_High-Speed_Rail_Act_(2008) In 2008, 6,680,485 Californians (52%, a majority) voted for the bill that approved a bond issue for the project. Of course I'm guessing you think all of those votes were fraudulent or some bullshit. Also this was 100% easily researchable. #### Cheerful Charlie ##### Contributor This has been a giant jujuflop fiasco. I wonder just how much this will in the future impact Texas politics. Ted Cruz may have just seen any dream of running for president in 2024 go down hard. Guvner Abbot may have just lost his re-election.All those tax hating Texans who are being slammed with$5000+ electrical bills are not going to forget this all. I haven't heard from Senator John Cornyn. Where is he hiding?

More wind turbines you fools! More wind turbines!

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
More wind turbines you fools! More wind turbines!
Winterized, too! If you're gonna deny climate change, at least prep your infrastructure so it can shrug off CC as well.

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
. Natgas generation has a rather evident vulnerability, its pipelines, but that does not exist for coal and nuclear generation. So what affected them?
I just read that reactors in Texas are shutting down due to problems getting enough cooling water.
Burst pipes, etc.

Nah. One unit shut down because of a feed water sensor failure (probably due to the cold).

The only issue was a sensor failure, and that was in the secondary cooling loop, so not part of the reactor itself. A SCRAM was certainly an over reaction, but that's SOP for nuclear plants - the rules say they must SCRAM for almost anything non-routine.

Which is fine, if your 'safety' focus is correct in assuming that the only dangers come from the fission process itself; But turns out not to be so great when people are literally freezing to death if the reactor stops generating power.

A broader focus on all sources of risk would have concluded that it's better to keep running, and take a minuscule increase in meltdown risk, than to shutdown and get a large and certain risk of hypothermia. Particularly as it takes a couple of days to restart the reactor after a SCRAM due to Xenon poisoning.

Even so, nuclear has failed the least of all Texas power sources during this crisis.

#### TomC

##### Celestial Highness
More wind turbines you fools! More wind turbines!
Winterized, too! If you're gonna deny climate change, at least prep your infrastructure so it can shrug off CC as well.

I've been trying to think of a simple and clear way to explain this.

Climate change doesn't mean everything gets a degree or two warmer. Adding heat to the atmosphere will result in more extreme and less predictable weather conditions, over all. Bigger hurricanes. Heavy cold in Texas. Drier conditions in California, resulting in more fires. Etc. Etc.

This sort of thing could happen to Texas anytime. But such freakish events will become more common as the biosphere warms up.

Tom

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
More wind turbines you fools! More wind turbines!
Winterized, too! If you're gonna deny climate change, at least prep your infrastructure so it can shrug off CC as well.

I've been trying to think of a simple and clear way to explain this.

Climate change doesn't mean everything gets a degree or two warmer. Adding heat to the atmosphere will result in more extreme and less predictable weather conditions, over all. Bigger hurricanes. Heavy cold in Texas. Drier conditions in California, resulting in more fires. Etc. Etc.

This sort of thing could happen to Texas anytime. But such freakish events will become more common as the biosphere warms up.

Tom
Someone described the weather system as a push-up bra. Used to be, the jet stream pushed the cold up on the pole and held it there.
You get occasional nip-slips, but it usually worked.

We've been drying the bra in a hot dryer, rather than gentle, and we've ruined the elastic. Now the push-up bra is more of a booby hammock, and massive bosoms of icy cold swing down lower and lower as the world turns.

There may have been more to the analogy, but i was lost to the image of giant snowy white death boobs vengefully motor-boating Texas....

#### Gospel

##### Unify Africa
I've been trying to think of a simple and clear way to explain this.

Climate change doesn't mean everything gets a degree or two warmer. Adding heat to the atmosphere will result in more extreme and less predictable weather conditions, over all. Bigger hurricanes. Heavy cold in Texas. Drier conditions in California, resulting in more fires. Etc. Etc.

This sort of thing could happen to Texas anytime. But such freakish events will become more common as the biosphere warms up.

Tom
Someone described the weather system as a push-up bra. Used to be, the jet stream pushed the cold up on the pole and held it there.
You get occasional nip-slips, but it usually worked.

We've been drying the bra in a hot dryer, rather than gentle, and we've ruined the elastic. Now the push-up bra is more of a booby hammock, and massive bosoms of icy cold swing down lower and lower as the world turns.

There may have been more to the analogy, but i was lost to the image of giant snowy white death boobs vengefully motor-boating Texas....

Man if I didn't believe in climate change I wood would now.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
So, Ted Crud runs off to Cancun when bad weather was coming to Texas. Leaving his poor white Poodle, "Snowflake", behind in a cold, cold house. Cruz has definitely lost the poodle fanciers of Texas votes.

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
So now it's the Forgotten Dog. Trump missed that theme. I'd love to know the mindset of the working class Texan who would still vote for this turd blossom.

#### Cheerful Charlie

##### Contributor
Democrats = socialists! Cruz + anti-socialist. That is Texas politics in a nutshell.

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
. I'd love to know the mindset of the working class Texan who would still vote for this turd blossom.

He's not 'that socialist AOC.'
Or 'that pedo assassin Hillary.'
Or 'that bitch Pelosi.'

Pretty much it.

He's the choice left after the boogeyman-ification of any rational alternatives.

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
So now it's the Forgotten Dog. Trump missed that theme.
Least he didn't put the dog on the roof of the car....

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
I don't understand all these videos with water gushing from the ceiling and utterly destroying house. Why not close the main valve?

A lot of people do not know where the main valve is. For some homes in Texas it may be outside, and frozen (or it may be inside, and frozen) where the outer diameter of the flow area is frozen but the inner diamter still passes water. Some may have turned off, but that’s how much water is left to drain.

Yeah, it's in the OP: Texas wasn't built for this shit.

None of it was built for this. It's like an earthquake happening where earthquakes don't generally happen.

And Texas is shunning national efforts to help.

Anyone up in this thread talking about wind power trying to blame it needs to get their head screwed back on right this time.

At any rate, it's a cheap retrofit to put different turbines on pylons.

Fixing a nuclear power plant's burst pipes? That's gonna suck...

I guess this is what you get when you try to duck federal regulations to make a quick buck.

No nuclear power plants have suffered any burst pipes. One (of four) reactors was shut down due to a sensor error. One of several redundant sensors in one of four reactors gave a false reading, and the insanely cautious regulations demanded that the reactor be shut down in such circumstances. Which would be hyper-cautious under normal conditions, but is positively dangerous when the state is already seeing deaths due to insufficient generation.

The lesson here is not to be so stupidly scared by nuclear power plants.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
No nuclear power plants have suffered any burst pipes. One (of four) reactors was shut down due to a sensor error. One of several redundant sensors in one of four reactors gave a false reading, and the insanely cautious regulations demanded that the reactor be shut down in such circumstances. Which would be hyper-cautious under normal conditions, but is positively dangerous when the state is already seeing deaths due to insufficient generation.

The lesson here is not to be so stupidly scared by nuclear power plants.

Wellll, hang on now.

The reason Texas is having such terrible woes is that they chose to avoid regulations by making their own power grid so they could skip maintenance and preparedness steps which lack is now actively causing failures.

Are you sure promoting nuclear power to a state with a proven track record of not just ignoring but celebrating the lack of safeguards is a prudent move?

#### Angra Mainyu

##### Veteran Member
No nuclear power plants have suffered any burst pipes. One (of four) reactors was shut down due to a sensor error. One of several redundant sensors in one of four reactors gave a false reading, and the insanely cautious regulations demanded that the reactor be shut down in such circumstances. Which would be hyper-cautious under normal conditions, but is positively dangerous when the state is already seeing deaths due to insufficient generation.

The lesson here is not to be so stupidly scared by nuclear power plants.

Wellll, hang on now.

The reason Texas is having such terrible woes is that they chose to avoid regulations by making their own power grid so they could skip maintenance and preparedness steps which lack is now actively causing failures.

Are you sure promoting nuclear power to a state with a proven track record of not just ignoring but celebrating the lack of safeguards is a prudent move?
Have you seen any lack of safeguards in nuclear power stations in Texas?

Looks like they are being too cautious, going by bilby's info.

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
No nuclear power plants have suffered any burst pipes. One (of four) reactors was shut down due to a sensor error. One of several redundant sensors in one of four reactors gave a false reading, and the insanely cautious regulations demanded that the reactor be shut down in such circumstances. Which would be hyper-cautious under normal conditions, but is positively dangerous when the state is already seeing deaths due to insufficient generation.

The lesson here is not to be so stupidly scared by nuclear power plants.

Wellll, hang on now.

The reason Texas is having such terrible woes is that they chose to avoid regulations by making their own power grid so they could skip maintenance and preparedness steps which lack is now actively causing failures.

Are you sure promoting nuclear power to a state with a proven track record of not just ignoring but celebrating the lack of safeguards is a prudent move?
Have you seen any lack of safeguards in nuclear power stations in Texas?

Looks like they are being too cautious, going by bilby's info.

I’m capable of holding both ideas in my head. If there’s any place where Chernobyl style negligence would happen in the US it would be Texas.

#### Angra Mainyu

##### Veteran Member
Have you seen any lack of safeguards in nuclear power stations in Texas?

Looks like they are being too cautious, going by bilby's info.

I’m capable of holding both ideas in my head. If there’s any place where Chernobyl style negligence would happen in the US it would be Texas.

Which two ideas?

In any case, the nuclear industry in Texas hasn't had any accidents, and modern reactors have even better safety mechanisms than those currently in operation.

#### Elixir

Have you seen any lack of safeguards in nuclear power stations in Texas?

Looks like they are being too cautious, going by bilby's info.

I’m capable of holding both ideas in my head. If there’s any place where Chernobyl style negligence would happen in the US it would be Texas.

Which two ideas?

In any case, the nuclear industry in Texas hasn't had any accidents, and modern reactors have even better safety mechanisms than those currently in operation.

True. And regulations have gotten more stringent. Elected Texas Republicans hate federal regs. That’s why they have their own for-profit, Republican donating private utility grid, built on the cheap instead of to fed standards.

I’d like to see Texas go full nuclear, but not under the auspices of ERCOT.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
Don't all nuclear power generating stations have to comply with federal regulations?

#### Deepak

##### Veteran Member
Have you seen any lack of safeguards in nuclear power stations in Texas?

Looks like they are being too cautious, going by bilby's info.

I’m capable of holding both ideas in my head. If there’s any place where Chernobyl style negligence would happen in the US it would be Texas.

Which two ideas?

In any case, the nuclear industry in Texas hasn't had any accidents, and modern reactors have even better safety mechanisms than those currently in operation.

The one that I mentioned, that Texas would be the place, and the one I quoted, which is that in the land of Texas no case of negligence has been found. What other ones could I be talking about?

#### Elixir

Don't all nuclear power generating stations have to comply with federal regulations?

Believe so. And IAEA as well - hence a non starter for Texas Repugs.

#### AthenaAwakened

##### Contributor
Don't all nuclear power generating stations have to comply with federal regulations?

Did you know ...

Federal OSHA is a small agency; with their state partners they have approximately 1,850 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 70,000 workers.

I shared this tidbit because everyone needs to know it AND it shows just how serious the federal govt takes its enforcement role.

Due to the relatively small number of Nuclear power plants in the US, currently this is true

Each year, NRC specialists conduct 10 to 25 routine inspections at each nuclear power plant, depending on the activities at the plants and issues that may occur. The agency has about 150 resident inspectors, including some who are based at nuclear fuel production facilities and new reactor construction sites.

If private utilities were allowed to build nuclear plants the way they want to, I believe the number of inspectors would not change, the number of inspections would drastically decrease and disaster would be just a matter of when.

I personally do not have a problem with nuclear power. I do have problems with private businesses that put profits over people. If nuclear plants were publicly run and a good PR campaign aired and promoted, you could see almost geometric growth in the number of Nuclear Plants in US in relatively short order.

#### steve_bank

##### Diabetic retinopathy and poor eyesight. Typos ...
Texas prides itself on independence and chose to go it alone by not connecting to the national grid tp avoid regulations. They thumbed there noses and paid the price.

A perfect example of basing a critical need on minimizing costs and maximizing revenue. Hardening for cold was recommended but required by the state. Utilities said it costs too much.

That is not the half of it. A major solar event could cripple national electricity. It is a well known and understood threat.

There was a minor disruption in Canada.

The main problem that is plaguing us on many issues is our good old American ideal of hyper independence of the individual that limits our ability to act collectively for the common good. We have no national power policy even as we are long utterly depended on electricity.

It is mind boggling to hear people in the media say they are just realizing our dependemce on electricity.

#### fromderinside

##### Mazzie Daius
Let me just interject two organizations, Bonneville and TVA. nuff sed?

#### bilby

##### Fair dinkum thinkum
Trevor Noah has a show on the Texas outage. Fast-forward to 8:00, just before he explains how AOC can provide a new source of power for the state.

Come on, somebody! Watch the last minute of the YouTube and give Trevor a laughing-face emoticon.