Texas’ electrical grid: public obligation, or opportunity for private innovation?

·3 min read

Questions about Amazon worksite

According to the Feb. 22 front-page story, “Workers risk death, injury at Fort Worth Amazon construction site, whistleblower says,” a language barrier makes it difficult for safety managers who speak only English to correct imminent danger because many of the workers speak only Spanish.

Some things to consider: Why hasn’t the Occupational Safety and Health Administration been there to check reports of imminent hazards? Why haven’t immigration officials been there to check the status of workers who cannot speak English well enough to mitigate health and safety concerns?

- Owen Daniel, Fort Worth

Let the free market power us

A Feb. 21 letter to the editor arguing that Gov. Greg Abbott was wrong to complain about the Green New Deal on Fox News demonstrates how sensitive some people are about the limitations of some renewable energy. (4B) Abbott noted that wind turbines and solar panels were part of the problem. Relying on technology that needs specific weather conditions to be effective is not a good plan.

The so-called Green New Deal is not about saving the world but about giving power to those who want to destroy capitalism and create a nanny state for Americans. Free-market innovation will do more than any group of government bureaucrats to develop cleaner, more reliable energy sources.

- Christopher Sanford, Burleson

Protect us from price predators

Any business that engages in price gouging after a disaster declaration is made, either by the governor or the president, is subject to prosecution by the attorney general. Why then was the wholesale price of electricity allowed to jump to more than $8,800 per megawatt hour during and after the cold weather event?

Electricity is a necessity, and price gouging laws should protect the consumer who’s totally at the mercy of providers.

- Larry Hale, Fort Worth

Is this really ‘independence’?

Thursday’s front-page headline read “Abbott vows to fix state power grid.” Texas cut itself from the national grid. It deregulated electricity producers to get the lowest prices possible for consumers, removing all incentives to build and maintain excess capacity.

After the 2011 cold snap, a commission reported that the Texas grid would break without added investments. The Legislature called for improvements but provided no funding or incentives.

Now that an extreme cold event hit, the system collapsed and people died, Abbott tried to pin blame on the Green New Deal and renewable energy.

Maybe Attorney General Ken Paxton can help with the investigation of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas once he’s back from his investigation of Pennsylvania’s election.

- Tom Clark, Benbrook

Electricity is not optional

The Texas energy grid is not only a public necessity — it is a public utility. It should be responsible to the public, owned by the public and operated in the public interest. It should not be privately owned and operated for profit.

Gov. Greg Abbott’s proposal to harden the facilities of a hodgepodge of private companies is a half-considered half-effort, way too late and way too short.

- Paul R. Schattman, Arlington

All that matters are vaccinations

County Judges Glen Whitley of Tarrant and Clay Jenkins of Dallas are enraged because the Department of State Health Services is cutting the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. (Feb. 25, 7A, “FEMA aims for 3,000 vaccinations a day at Globe Life Field, operating every day”)

I’m angry, too. If the feds cut the supply of vaccines to the area because the state had added two distribution centers, Gov. Greg Abbott and associates would have a hissy fit. The Federal Emergency Management Association’s design is to add, while it seems Abbott’s plan is to subtract.

- Diane Thornburg, Bedford

Ted Cruz is nice and a good father

My son went to high school with Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz was nice and very smart. He has a backbone, unlike many of our senators. He has worked very hard for Texas and the Constitution. People are too judgmental. He must be a good father. And he is not an electrician. Give him a break.

- Jackye Van Court, Granbury