With millions of Texas residents still without power amid frigid temperatures, conservative commentators have falsely claimed that wind turbines and solar energy were primarily to blame.
“We should never build another wind turbine in Texas,” read a Tuesday Facebook post from Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller. “The experiment failed big time.”
“This is a perfect example of the need for reliable energy sources like natural gas & coal,” tweeted U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican from Montana, on Tuesday.
In reality, failures in natural gas, coal, and nuclear energy systems were responsible for nearly twice as many outages as frozen wind turbines and solar panels, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s power grid, said in a press conference Tuesday.
The situation is still ongoing, and very serious, with people dying from the cold and from carbon monoxide poisoning as they try to stay warm. As with any serious situation in the news, conspiracy theories will arise.
The mainstream media is doing a good job in explaining the disinformation regarding overreliance on renewables being the cause (it's mostly natural gas) - but we should expect such disinformation to persist amongst people who have limited and inaccurate information sources. There will be also more obscure and extreme theories, such as the crisis being deliberately manufactured (even to the extent of creating the weather conditions).