The failure of the electrical power system in Texas, which left millions without heat and other necessities during very cold weather, is beyond awful. Why did this happen?

More information will become available, but it is important to recognize that this failure has its roots in decisions made decades ago when Texas decided to have its own power distribution grid rather than be part of a national effort fostered by the federal government. 

According to The Washington Post of Feb. 16, Texas has "a financial structure for power generation that offers no incentives to power plant operators to prepare for winter. In the name of deregulation and free markets, critics say, Texas has created an electric grid that puts an emphasis on cheap prices over reliable service."

Much of the electricity generated in Texas results from the burning of natural gas, which is mostly methane. Blaming the "Green New Deal" and clean renewable energy, e.g., wind power, is simply incorrect. Properly selected, sited and maintained, wind turbines work well in such locations as Alaska and Canada.

Further, as the Arctic continues to become warmer due to emissions of greenhouse gases, a weakened Polar Jet Stream meanders more, allowing wintry conditions to move South. In Alabama, we must look beyond fossil fuels, i.e., coal, oil, and natural gas, for the generation of electricity.

However, the Alabama Public Service Commission recently approved the use of more natural gas by Alabama Power.

David Newton

Auburn resident

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