Texas residential electricity prices increased 4.1% in the past two years compared to the U.S. average increase of 0.3%

(Department of Energy). Why then, should Texans use puddle water to flush toilets and burn fences to keep warm? This is not new. In December 1989 a hard freeze paralyzed communities. In 2011, after freezing temps caused rolling black-outs, a federal report stated Texas’ many pipes and energy providers failed because they did not prepare for extreme cold.

Because winterization of equipment is expensive, those providers want no part of preventive strategies to keep the lights on when the next Arctic blast blows in. Texas is proudly independent of federal oversight, but that pride resulted in dozens of deaths and a water crisis. How many times must Texans see businesses closed, grocery store lines, and fire trucks rushing to rescue people using carbon monoxide emitters to keep warm?

Maxine Winter


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