As I sit in my cozy Minnesota home, my mind occasionally drifts to the people of Texas and their ongoing struggles caused by the power outages across most of the state. My relatives and friends who reside in Texas are doing all right or making the most of a bad situation.

Texas established a renewable-energy portfolio back in 1991 when George W. Bush was governor. Since then, the state significantly exceeded the mandate while Gov. Rick Perry was in charge, a laudable achievement. Yet, now, Perry is demonizing wind power and is teaming up with Fox News to spread the lie that wind-turbine failures caused the problem. Some wind turbines went offline, but the remaining turbines outperformed the projected winter-season forecast due to improved wind conditions. The ironic thing is, winter storms idled coal and natural gas plants back in 1989 and 2011. A review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recommended winterizing power sources. Texas declined. What will happen now with Gov. Greg Abbot in charge?

The rhetoric of Perry is rather startling, “Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business,” he said. At least Perry didn’t sink to the level of Sen. Ted Cruz when he decided to abandon his constituents and vacation in Cancun, Mexico.

The words and actions of Republicans stand in stark contrast to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She raised more than $1 million for Texas disaster relief, yet she’s simply an environmentalist that Rep. Pete Stauber and others seem to love to hate.

I hope the leadership of the Lone Star State learns from its errors of the past to mitigate future hardships. I doubt any meaningful change will occur until our leaders accept the blunt realities of climate change and act accordingly.

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James N. Bragge


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