Republican Rick Perry, a former Texas governor and energy secretary, suggested in a recent blog post on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s website that Texans should be more than willing to endure blackouts to keep the federal government from regulating the state’s power grid.
The Lone Star State has been gripped by blackouts caused by extreme snowstorms, and as of Wednesday morning, about 2.7 million households in Texas were still left without power, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
“Texans would be without electricity for longer than three days to keep the federal government out of their business,” Perry said. “Try not to let whatever the crisis of the day is take your eye off of having a resilient grid that keeps America safe personally, economically, and strategically.”
The former governor, who once called former President Donald Trump “the chosen one,” was responding to a prompt from McCarthy suggesting that “those watching on the left may see the situation in Texas as an opportunity to expand their top-down, radical proposals.”
According to Perry, the way to prevent future blackouts is to ensure that Texas has reliable baseload energy resources, which typically refers to coal, natural gas and nuclear-based power plants.
“If wind and solar is where we’re headed, the last 48 hours ought to give everybody a real pause,” Perry said. “We need to have a baseload. And the only way you can get a baseload in this country is [with] natural gas, coal, and nuclear.”
This echoes similar rhetoric from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who blamed solar and wind for the power crisis in his state during an interview Tuesday with Fox News’ Sean Hannity. Abbott argued that the “Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.”
Yet the Texas blackouts were largely caused by a number of failures in coal, nuclear and natural gas energy systems, which were not prepared to withstand extreme cold, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said.
Wind energy, in fact, surpassed daily production forecasts during the past weekend, and the GOP’s lambasting of wind turbines was a “ridiculous political spin” on the situation, Daniel Cohan, associate professor of environmental engineering at Houston’s Rice University, told HuffPost.