Texas In Freezing Darkness:

Nicholas Lockwood


What Caused The Texas Blackout?


Over the past week, there has been a blast of freezing weather across the central states within America. The cold front that caused this dipped down throughout numerous states, and even caused Texas to have a large amount of freezing snow. However, compared to other states that could handle the turmoil of the snowstorm, Texas’ cold weather came to a huge detriment to the power supply for several counties and numerous households. The shutdown of the electricity in many areas of Texas has caused turmoil with people being able to stay warm, and even have proper safety precautions. Consequently, how did these blackouts become widespread, what are the large effects, and what is happening moving forward for the state of Texas?

Cause of the Darkness:

To begin with, it is important to lay out the underlying causes for these blackouts within Texas. CNET wrote a fully in depth article about the situation in Texas. To summarize, the events in Texas were that a large amount of the power grid wasn’t able to properly function due to the cold weather that was largely affecting the state. The cold weather significantly affected the natural gas supply within the state, and the ability of the gas to be transported to other power grids. 

Texas runs most of its power by natural gas. In order to illustrate power sources, Comptroller provides statistics that are a part of the Texas State Government. Texas’ energy includes the fact that 47.4% of the state is run by natural gas, 20.3% is run by coal, and 20.0% is run by wind energy. Under the state’s energy company ERCOT, the direct linking of natural gas as a power source showed clear cracks within the power grid. Roughly, four million Texan residents had power issues and on a previous Wednesday, over 46,000 megawatts went offline which provided power to numerous neighborhoods. 

As referenced in the CNET article, ERCOT President Bill Magness states that “The ability for gas generators to produce, particularly at full output, was affected by the freezing impact on the natural gas supply…” As stated by the ERCOT president, it would demonstrate the critical details about the freezing of the natural gas, the issues with the pipelines being able to transport the gas, and the lack of ability to swiftly fix the issue due to the frigid temperatures. Therefore, this caused the mass blackouts seen throughout the state, particularly in major metropolitan cities.

Relief For the Crisis:

Throughout the state of Texas, it has spun into a widespread crisis throughout the state for the ability to provide energy. For anyone who is currently in the state of Texas, the State’s Health and Human Services department can provide Disaster Assistance. The IRS also is announcing tax relief for Texas’ severe weather. This also added to the usage of FEMA by allowing homeowners to get individual assistance that sustained damage during this crisis. This would be allowing donations and contributions to various organizations can help assist Texas.