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Prioritizing profit over people

What’s going on in Texas with thousands of people still without water and a vast majority of the state having lost power over the past week is a sad reality that occurs when politicians prioritize profit over people.

When the state’s junior senator, Ted Cruz, leaves his state and constituents in distress to go on vacation in Cancun, you know something is very wrong.

Texas is the only state in the nation that is not a part of the federal power grid because according to Cruz the state and its residents do not like the federal regulations that come with being a member of said grid. 

But not being a member of the grid has its downsides as we are seeing playout right before our eyes. Texas is unable to borrow power from neighboring states due to it not being a member of the grid. Back in 2011 when this same issue played out and the state had to implement rolling blackouts, Texas had to purchase power from Mexico — and yet it still didn’t learn.

Cruz boasted to a reporter on Thursday after his return to the states that Texans would rather not have their power federally regulated throughout the usual 364 days of the year when rolling blackouts aren’t an issue than be federally regulated for when this occurrence does take place. He fails to mention that these rolling blackouts — although rare — did cause death and irreparable harm to numerous Texans across the state all of which are Cruz’s constituents.

Despite Cruz’s apparent lack of sympathy for those suffering in Texas, he is not to blame for the widespread outages that blanketed Texas over the past week and to do so would be unfair. 

To blame is the decades of having a state legislature that has prioritized profit over people, that have prioritized a marginally lower electric bill than the lives of others.

The Texas government ignored the advice to winterize their wind turbines and then somehow turned around and blamed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a Congresswoman from New York — and her Green New Deal — which has not even become law yet nor has it been implemented in any way shape or form — for the power failures in Texas. 

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas — who manages and oversees most of Texas’ power grid — even denied this claim.

“It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system,” Dan Woodfin a senior director of ERCOT said during a press conference on Thursday.

For the Texas government to shift the blame from themselves onto a New York congresswoman who helped raise $1 million dollars in under four hours for Texans affected by the storm is absurd. 

Though this is not the fault of any one person, it is the fault of decades of policy failure at the hands of the Texas legislature and yes, once again, the outcome of prioritizing profit over people and disregarding policy that could help.

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