From The Economist, February 27, 2021, link here.
“TEXAS IS A mirror in which Americans see themselves reflected, not life-sized but…bigger than life,” wrote John Bainbridge in “The Super-Americans”, a book published in 1961 about the Lone Star state. Recently, the picture of Texas has been one of super-size suffering.
A snowstorm and freezing temperatures caused power-equipment failures, leading to rolling blackouts. Around 4.5 million households had to go without power and half of all Texans lost access to safe drinking water.
Dozens have died and hundreds were poisoned by carbon monoxide. Survivors have had to contend with burst pipes in their homes, flooding and eye-watering electricity bills.
With most of the state shut down for a week, the disaster will probably become the costliest in Texas’s history, eclipsing the toll of even the worst hurricanes.
There are two issues here:
- the business or regulatory model; and,
- the infrastructure issues.
If an analysis does not address these issues separately, it's a poor analysis.
In addition, like most superficial analyses, the Economist author(s) only provided the estimated numerator. No attempt was made by The Economist to provide a denominator of any sort. Without the denominator, any analysis is worthless.
- estimated numerator: yes
- denominator of any sort: no
This is quite interesting.
First, the business model.
The business model has resulted in lowest electricity rates in the US. With that record, why would one want to change the business model. The business model had nothing to do with a) the record freeze; or, b) the infrastructure.
Second, if this was a once-in-a-hundred years event why would one want to tweak the infrastructure? Remember: the bigger risk is global warming, not another deep freeze. One can't have it both ways.