Texas’s deregulated power grid was built to fail

2/18/21
 
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from The Washington Post,
2/18/21:

I began work on this piece with my manual Royal typewriter, by candlelight, because of the collapse of the Texas electricity grid. I, like millions of Texans, am without power, without water, cold and in the dark. The polar vortex is hammering the entire country. Why is Texas the only state with such a severe a grid failure?

Texas’s predicament stems from a decision that state lawmakers made about 20 years ago to abandon the traditional model of fully regulated electricity utilities. Still used across many areas of the nation, these electric companies — described as vertically integrated utilities — do not compete for customers and are allowed to earn a rate of return on investment. They can raise rates only with the permission of state regulators.

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