Dear Dr. Evans,
Hello, I hope you are doing OK. My family and I went three days without power and heat, but with enough layers of clothing and blankets, we were ok.
Many other Texans haven’t been so fortunate. Many died because of the extreme cold and many others have been hospitalized due to carbon monoxide poisoning from trying to stay warm. In addition, busted water pipes and other weather-related problems caused billions of dollars of damage in what may become the state’s most expensive natural disaster in history.
Our staff all had power back, at least intermittently, by Thursday. We immediately put together resources to educate our members on pressing concerns, including will my electric bill go up?, what to do about frozen pipes, how to handle boil water notices, and an FAQ about dripping faucets. I hope these can be helpful to you and other Texans as we continue to recover.
We also started investigating how the blackouts happened, how the state could avoid them, and the environmental impacts. We shared what we learned with The Economist, Reuters, Bloomberg, Politifact and other media as well as members of the Legislature. We’re also working to rebut the considerable misinformation circulating.
So what do we need to do to keep the lights and heat on while still meeting our environmental goals? I shared my ideas with the Dallas Morning News, but they boil down to more energy efficiency, solar and storage, transmission, and winterization.
We still have a lot of work to do to gather all the facts and do the research, advocacy, and communications needed to get Texas to build a better and more resilient system. Simply doubling down on the same failed approaches that put the state at risk will only set us up for the next disaster. A cleaner, safer, more resilient energy system is possible. With smart planning and decisions, we can make it a reality.
Thanks for your support of our work.