Who Do We Blame When the Lights Go Out at Parkland?

It happened during big ice storm of February 2011, and despite assurances from Oncor, it will happen again. The hospital has its own diesel generators to make sure the emergency rooms don’t lose power, but the electricity grid in Texas is in serious trouble. Rolling blackouts may in fact become a way of life pretty soon. Who’s to blame for that?

Governor Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, and Luminant CEO David Campbell all blame the EPA. But as my scotch-drinking, zombie-watching buddy Brantley Hargrove points out in this “brief” explanation of the situation (the story clocks in at about 6,700 words), the rolling black outs have a lot more to do with Luminant’s own cost-cutting measures (Luminant’s parent company was trying to refinance about $18 billion in debt at the time of the power outage at Parkland last year) and the fact that in the days of deregulated energy, the grid hasn’t kept up with the growing Texas population. Long, but worth the read.

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