Is the possibility of major power outages in Texas real for 2012? What can we expect if it happens?
Multiple officials and agencies across the state of Texas are charging that unfair actions by the Obama Administration and Environmental Protection Agency will cause harmful impact on Texas, including the real potential for rolling electrical blackouts.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an opening brief on February 9, 2012 challenging the EPA’s improper attempt to instantly impose unlawful regulations in the Lone Star State.
When Texans learned last year that the EPA began playing games with their own deadline that requires lower emissions with air pollution rules, experts discovered this would lead to the inevitable closing of Texas energy plants, lay off thousands of workers and create blackouts.
“Once again, the unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats at the EPA are flouting the law by denying Texas the opportunity to manage its own air permitting program,” Abbott said on February 9, 2012.
In September 2011 over 5 million people sweltered in the late-summer heat of California, Arizona and Mexico when that region of the U.S. was suddenly hit with a massive power outage.
If Texas experiences blackouts of that magnitude, we can expect a severe standstill of transportation, emergency, communication and medical services.
During last year’s outage, San Diego’s Lindbergh Field flights were grounded.
Thirteen police stations across the area relied on generators, as did numerous fire departments, emergency responder units and hospitals. This was all during spikes in emergency calls.
Highways and streets became gridlocked with no power for traffic lights.
Citizens were asked to stay off the roads and keep landline phones open for emergencies only.
People were trapped in elevators. Gas stations can’t pump gas. Guests were given bottled water as they walked out of high rise hotels in the city looking for a breeze and shade.
Restaurants couldn’t cook. Some started fires for camp cooking.
VANDALISM AND LOOTING
In worst case scenarios, vandalism and looting can happen. In the great 1977 blackout of New York, hundreds of businesses and homes were looted and destroyed, set ablaze.
If blackouts occur in the colder months, there is a tendency for people to bring in gas grills or kerosene heaters. People die from the carbon monoxide.
“The EPA’s unlawful scheme threatens Texas jobs and businesses by imposing costly and unnecessary greenhouse gas regulations immediately and improperly,” the Attorney General stated.
In July, 2011, the EPA gave Texas only five month notice that they are imposing new regulations that requires Texas coal power plants to reduce emissions by 45% by January 1, 2013.
EPA ISSUED UNLAWFUL REGULATIONS
“The EPA’s unlawful regulations were issued despite the fact that the demand for electricity—both during the hot summer months and the cold of winter—is at an all-time high.”
In 2010, ERCOT announced Texas was only 300-400 megawatts away from suffering rolling blackouts. This was very close to the rolling outages that were executed last February during a period of “extreme cold.”
EPA’s new regulations will force a reduction of 1,200 – 1,400 megawatts of electricity during the peak summer months, more than three times the amount that would have forced rolling blackouts in the summer of 2011, projects ERCOT.
Court documents filed by ERCOT in support of the State’s legal challenge conclude the forced reductions from Obama and EPA “would lead to unavoidable rotating outages, possibly even recurring events, which could occur in both peak and off-peak periods, through 2012 and beyond.”
“These expensive mandates do little to make our air safer or to control the global warming the EPA insists is threatening our country, while doing great damage to our energy independence and economic recovery,” Abbott stated.
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