Rolling Blackouts and Our Missing LeaderMarina Y Sanchez Freelance Columnist
I write this column huddled next to my children at our home that just got back its power not more than minutes ago.
For the past few days, we El Pasoans have been getting the nice gift of rolling black outs. Rolling blackouts are periodical power outages. Normally this would not have been a bad thing except that El Paso decided to make up for past years of non-winter like behavior.
Tuesday night, we received snow more than we ever seen in decades! Schools, jobs, county and city buildings were completely shut down Wedneday. From 4am to about 9 am, we had over 70 accidents. It’s true; we are not accustomed to the icy roads. The temperature was in the low 20’s and still dropping. The rolling blackouts began in the mid morning and continued throughout the city til late evening leaving many without light and heat. The weather affected so many homes leaving them without running water and heat for the entire day.
Again Thursday and today, everything was shut down. The snow had melted yet temps were now in the single digits. The city asked that for the rest of the week, we stay indoors as much as possible. They urged us that we needed to conserve as much energy, heat and water. They told between certain times when we could wash clothes, wash dishes. They wanted us to limit our resources as much as possible. Yersterday we had four power outages all happening between the hours of 6pm to 10pm.
Of course it’s inconvenient. I hear stories of the Texans in Austin that were left facing power outages every half hour all day.
What was going on?
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst met with the executives of the state’s power grid manager, ERCOT, and the heads of power generating companies. He said Wednesday that the problem was the failure of some newer plants to sufficiently weatherize.
Two coal-burning plants had frozen water pipes and contributed to 50 of the state’s 550 power plants going off-line.
Dewhurst noted that power demands, while high, were about 20 percent less than what the state handles during peak summer months.
What angered me however was that our “Texas’ leader” was not even in Texas during this severe weather and unprecedented chaos. Gov Rick Perry was in California. In San Diego to be more exact.
Thanks for the support Governor. As long as you’re nice warm, that’s all I care about. Don’t mind us freezing our behinds over here in the dark some without running water. Oh don’t worry about the hundred of bursting pipes. We got cash coming out of ears to fix this!
Perry was “warming” to his national profile in Southern California. His trip included meetings with business leaders. He also had been visiting with troops at the Miramar Marine base and is staying overnight on the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier.
What the heck? Is he practicing to be president?!
Thanks to for Perry falling down on the job. The governor “was paying so little attention to the ice storm during his five-day trip to California that his own press release misstated the reason for the rolling blackouts. Did he even know what was going on?
What does it matter? Texans may be shivering in the cold, but Perry is shivering with the anticipation of being on a national GOP ticket.
Maybe its just me being a mere citizen (don’t mind me) but what’s wrong with multi-tasking? I have three kids, a full-time job and a house to take care of.
I could definitely give the governor some lessons!