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Texas lawmakers who mocked California power outages now face a similar crisis at home

Millions of Texans are suffering without power as the state’s energy grid struggles to handle extreme cold.

By Emily Singer - February 16, 2021
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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

A handful of Texas Republican lawmakers slammed California in late 2020, when an extreme heat wave caused power rationing via forced power outages across the state. As Californians were suffering, those lawmakers blamed liberal energy policy for the woes California was experiencing.

Now, millions of constituents in Texas are enduring a similar crisis, finding themselves without heat or electricity due to a freak winter snowstorm that plunged temperatures below freezing.

Texas energy companies have instituted the same kind of forced power outages California did, which are meant to help reduce the load on electrical grids to prevent worse power failures across the state.

And those Texas lawmakers’ old comments may come back to haunt them, as they began to resurface on social media Monday.

Texas lawmakers who mocked California as the state’s residents suffered include:

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)

In August, when temperatures in California soared past 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the state urged power rationing, Cruz tweeted, “California is now unable to perform even basic functions of civilization, like having reliable electricity. Biden/Harris/AOC want to make CA’s failed energy policy the standard nationwide. Hope you don’t like air conditioning!”

And in September, when California was asking residents to conserve energy by raising the temperature in their homes and turning off appliances, Cruz tweeted, “Socialism sucks.”

“With Biden-Harris, this train wreck of an energy policy is coming to your state too. Their new slogan: if you want to live without air conditioning—vote Democrat,” Cruz tweeted, adding a gif of a candle being blown out with the text “lights out.”

Texas energy companies urged Texans to utilize the same measures Cruz mocked, asking them to lower the temperature in their homes despite sub-freezing temperatures outside and to “Unplug electronic devices and turn off lights that are not in use.”

Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)

Like Cruz, Crenshaw mocked California during the state’s energy crisis amid the extreme heat wave.

“The left’s failures on energy policy — promoted by Kamala Harris — are painfully clear in California,” Crenshaw tweeted. “CA is a prime example of what you get with Dem governance: sky-high electricity prices for unreliable services, and tax hikes that hurt the most vulnerable”

In September, as the heat wave wore on and the power conservation push continued, Crenshaw got more snarky.

“Alexa, show me what happens when you let Democrats control energy policy,” he tweeted in response to a tweet from the Los Angeles mayor urging power conservation.

Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX)

When Van Duyne, a freshman Republican lawmaker, was running for her suburban Dallas House seat, she, too, mocked California for urging residents to conserve energy during the heat wave.

Can you imagine if during a heat wave, Texans were told to turn off their power, their appliances and sit in the dark. That won’t fly in the Lone Star State and it shouldn’t happen anywhere in our country,” Van Duyne tweeted in September, responding to the same tweet from the Los Angeles mayor that Crenshaw was. 

Texans are now being asked to utilize those same tactics amid a dangerous winter storm.

“The Texas electric system is facing an unprecedented power shortage situation due to the extreme winter weather impacting the entire state, including Houston & the region,” CenterPoint Energy, a Houston-based energy company, said in a statement to the Washington Post on Monday. “Texans’ electricity consumption needs have far surpassed current power generation.”

Meanwhile, Democrats have been looking to change energy policy to help address climate change. Research continues to point to climate change as a key factor behind extreme weather events like those in California and Texas.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. 


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