The coldest weather of the year is expected to arrive in Texas on Wednesday, and it brings with it plenty of anxiety over the condition of the state’s power grid.
State leaders on Tuesday tried to reassure the public that the grid is ready. But Gov. Greg Abbott appeared to backtrack on an earlier promise that there would be no interruptions to people’s electricity supply this winter.
“No one can guarantee that there won’t be a load shed event,” the governor said in response to a question about how he would measure the success of the electric grid. “But what we will work and strive to achieve and what we are prepared to achieve is that the power will stay on across the entire state.”
A “load shed event” is technical jargon for what is often referred to as a planned blackout. That’s when a grid operator cuts power to certain people, usually to stabilize supply and demand on the system.
It’s hard to argue with Abbott’s statement. Without a crystal ball, no one can say with 100% certainty that a blackout will not happen.
The thing is, Abbott did just that last fall.
“I can guarantee the lights will stay on,” he said in an interview with Fox 7’s Rudy Koski in November.
Gov. Abbott promised last fall that ‘the lights will stay on.’ Now he says there’s no guarantee. | TPRGov. Abbott promised last fall that ‘the lights will stay on.’ Now he says there’s no guarantee. | TPR