Extemp Content and Strategy Topic Analyses

Power and Texas

Power outages in Texas have been increasing in the past few years, and this is “one thing” Texas just can’t handle. In this Article, Annika Anand discusses Texas’s “snowpocalypse” and why the issues behind it still remain.

In the past 20 years, Texans have faced more power outages than any other state except California .In recent years we’ve seen them far too often. The ever-prevalent concerns of climate change and poor infrastructure have exacerbated Texas’s concerns. As you’d expect from the Lone Star State nothing is properly standardized in Texas’s cities. Many of Texas’s cities lack the infrastructure to rise to the challenge of addressing power outages, while some lucky few do. 

One of the major reasons why some cities suffer from more and worse power outages is because of power lines. Austin is a city that faces mass power outages due to heavy rain. The city has their power lines above ground and has lots of trees. Not only are the power lines hit frequently by storms, but trees also fall on them. This was a major reason why Austin’s  “snowpocalypse” in  2021 lasted so long. In contrast, Dallas has 50% of their power lines underground. Their citizens suffered less than the unlucky residents of Austin. Perhaps it is time for Texas to start questioning why it still has above ground power lines.

  In recent years, we have seen more extreme weather all across Texas. Cities like Dallas used to get more snow compared to other cities. It all comes down to infrastructure. Since many places in Texas didn’t have to deal with these issues in the past, they never had the proper infrastructure set up to deal with them. This is why Texas suffers from a couple inches of snow, while my home state’s northeast friends laugh at the fact that Texas suffered so harshly from a couple inches of snow. 

The biggest reason why these power outages hit so hard is because of Texas’s shoddy electricity grid. The rest of America is in 2 grids while Texas is separated and has 4! Talk about the Lone Star State! ERCOT controls 90% of the population’s electricity. As   our electricity grid is separated from the rest of America, ERCOT is a single point of failure. In other states, electricity isn’t isolated which leads to less blackouts and causes blackouts to be resolved quickly. According to the American Council on Renewable Energy, Texas would have saved almost 1 billion dollars and 200,000 blackouts in 2021 if they didn’t have their own electricity grid.

Read more about this topic:,Winter%20Storm%20Uri%20last%20year.“Buried%20power%20lines%20are%20protected,to%20equipment%20issues%20or%20lightning.”—%20Texans%20have%20experienced,extreme%20weather%20in%20recent%20years.

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