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Crisis in Texas by Isaiah Armell

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The inside of an apartment building after freezing temperatures broke water line.

As of February 18th, a winter storm across the nation ravaged many cities and states, but Texas may have been affected the most. As the temperature dropped, the Texan power grid had failed due to no winter preparations. Even though years prior, when several other events like this happened, the Texan state still didn’t winterize its power grid. Due to the unreadiness and lack of winter supplies, inhabitants of the state suffered through temperatures as low as -20°F without being able to get warmth. Last week, the number of people without safe drinking water decreased from 10 million down to 120,000. At least 3 senior citizens and one eleven-year-old boy have been reported to have died in their own homes of hypothermia. Why wasn’t Texas prepared? Texas had had similar situations in the past, back in 1999 and in 2011, winter storms had hit, but they weren’t as bad as the one happening currently. Texas took severed ties with the national power grid and decided to deregulate the power industry in order to drive energy costs down. However, they also failed to properly maintain their infrastructure.  With winter storms occurring in the past, you’d think they’d learn to winterize their power grid. But why didn’t they winterize their power grid? Their power grid wasn’t ready because the power companies that control the power gain money for not giving people power during emergencies. They don’t get in any legal trouble doing so. The companies either didn’t want to spend the money to winterize their power grid or purposely didn’t so they could get more profit from a crisis like this. Texas Senator Ted Cruz has been taking harsh criticism for his decision to take his own family to Cancun while his home state froze. 

Sources: https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-freeze-power-grid-failure-electricity-market-incentives-11613777856, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/millions-texans-still-without-safe-drinking-water-after-winter-storm-n1258476