Texas's power disaster is a warning sign for the US

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America's power grid is not ready.
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In February, extreme cold and an unusual winter storm left millions of Texans in the dark. Many went without power or water, in subzero temperatures, for nearly five days. It was a disaster; dozens died. But even though that storm hit much of the country, the power outages were mostly limited to Texas. That’s because Texas is on its own electrical grid, separate from the rest of the country, which means it can’t easily get power from other states in an emergency.
But Texas's grid itself is not what failed. Power went out across Texas in the first place because energy sources across the state were unprepared for severe weather. And that didn’t have to happen; Texas had been warned about this exact scenario, and had actually experienced versions of it twice in the last 30 years. But they didn’t prepare.
Now the rest of the US faces the same issue. Climate change is making severe weather disasters more and more frequent. And the American energy system is not ready for it.
Read more about what happened in Texas and about the US electrical grid: www.vox.com/22289517/texas-storm-uri-weather-power-outage-snow
And check out more coverage of the Texas power crisis from the Texas Tribune: www.texastribune.org/2021/02/22/texas-power-grid-extreme-weather/
Vox.com is a news website that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Check out www.vox.com.
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Published on


Mar 4, 2021




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Comments 100
Vox Month ago
One proposal for fixing the US grid: weave the divided power systems into a single national power grid. One study suggests it could save consumers as much as $47.2 billion a year through increased efficiency and cheaper renewable energy. Read more on Vox: bit.ly/30duu7d
R Flo
R Flo 13 days ago
Yeah and in California they shut off your power in the summer on purpose.
RockDinosaur 26 days ago
@Soaring Wings Second Stage The storm and failures to plan were an attempt to prevent an illegal and traitorous secession effort? Sure, makes sense - Texas is great.
Sam Dittfach
Sam Dittfach 26 days ago
I live 2 miles from a nuclear power plant south of Fort Worth so I had power
tixximmi1 Month ago
This wouldn't work. Need to de-centralize. 100 grids would be better. Solar and wind failed.
Spade Month ago
Good plan but we should note that a good load of politicians focus on their allies needs, so it’s extremely unlikely this’ll occur unfortunatly
Joseph P
Joseph P 16 hours ago
Texas will be blue by the end of the decade, it’s gonna be interesting to see how much the state changes from current Republican policies
Smart 21 hour ago
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Jamey Andrews
Jamey Andrews 10 hours ago
@Alex Thanks for he's contact info I'll get to him right away
Alex 11 hours ago
through whatsap⬇
Alex 11 hours ago
@Jamey Andrews +1,,4,,4,,3,4,,8,,4,,8,,4,,8,,2
Jamey Andrews
Jamey Andrews 11 hours ago
How do I contact mr Kelvin Williams?
Julie Paul
Julie Paul 11 hours ago
He,s stories are everywhere 😱 Trading crypto with mr Kelvin Williams has being a game changer for me
Earl Dominguez
Earl Dominguez 2 days ago
Belal Fayad
Belal Fayad 3 days ago
I find it funny that they were saying dangerously low temperatures and it was only -16 Celsius here in alberts it was -50 Celsius lol
DarthDragon007 3 days ago
The gov shouldn't allow safety and preparation precautions to be volentary because it should be extremely obvious companies will not inforce them if they have to spend money to do so because making money is more important to them then the people's safety. It should always be mandatory and strictly enforced.
JP Moore
JP Moore 3 days ago
No mention of where all the money goes? It’s corruption at the highest level! But apparently not enough to dive into?
Blywokeum 3 days ago
Jackson Flowers
Jackson Flowers 4 days ago
Texas: freaks out over 2 inches of snow. Wisconsin: ah, we got 10 inches, big deal
Awalee to c Dr uc Bulle
We told them years ago and they design trash systems of wrong power design grids . All. Over money . USA will be on Fire for bad design systems
John Naylor
John Naylor 5 days ago
The US grid certainly needs attention .... but the situation in Texas was and is driven by greed and politics. The management of ERCOT is as corrupt and dishonest as Ted Cruz and his bunch. They were directly responsible for the problems during the freeze and the 2nd power crisis this week.
Some Toad
Some Toad 5 days ago
I remember that time My family lost electricity for 2 days Some people didn’t even receive water
Hatuletoh 6 days ago
Wait, this can't be right. As everyone knows, private industry ALWAYS does everything better than the government, and they do it best of all when the government doesn't impede them with wasteful "regulations" and "standards." Thus sayeth St. Ronald of Reagan, the patron saint of deregulation, anti-communism, voodoo economics, deficit spending, imaginary space lasers, and American mornings. So clearly the reason Texas had no power and some people froze to death wasn't because private industry failed, it must have been due to some sort of governmental interference. Maybe the Texas legislators should have made those voluntary industry preparedness standards, um...more voluntary? In any case, the situation is just more evidence that profit-driven organizations are the best purveyors of basic services and the fundamental resources needed to survive, and if their customers aren't satisfied, they can fire their electric company and take their business elsewhere (if they actually have the option to change utility providers, and if they don't freeze to death during the blackouts, of course). Beer, steers, and blackouts!
Edgewater Channel
The Movie '2012' happened in Texas.
kusinerna fryklund
America isn't as great anymore. In the 50 and the 70 we built so much things that made us superior. Now these things are getting old.
21 Manpreet Singh
In short Communism can sometimes be good
Jaymir Bergrok
Jaymir Bergrok 7 days ago
merica be like:OH NO anyway
Sterling Archer
Sterling Archer 8 days ago
This video doesn't mention the power companies that monopolize the electricity in certain counties.
Lightning Razz Gaming
I am watching this video with my tablet right now and I charged my tablet yesterday.
I life in Texas
BINARYGOD 12 days ago
Send this to every right and centrist person who thinks Bidens infrastructure bill is too much or just right - it isn't even close to being enough.
Agent Pelly 1
Agent Pelly 1 12 days ago
I was in Texas during the winter storm I nearly lost power for 5 days it was like bad so I went to my aunt home because she had power so yea it was bad for me winter storm
Spectacular Spaghetti
As a Scandinavian, it blows my mind how a state in the US cant handle cold weathers, as this country is so powerful and stuff. Even the best can make big mistakes.
TW Ray
TW Ray 8 days ago
Depends on where you are. Where I am in Illinois, we can. Here in central Illinois, we can get down to 0 F, which would be -17 C. We don't like it, but we can deal with it relatively easily. But in Texas where the worse outages were, they don't get below freezing at all nine years out of 10. It isn't routine for them. And without federal regulations to force them, the private companies had nothing to push them to prep for something that might happen in 10 years.
pomelofromchina 15 days ago
Schlüsselindustrien enteignen!
aiden caldwell
aiden caldwell 15 days ago
Good thing we had the better idea because we had food and water
Coldfusionstorm Gaming
Texans was killed by Texans because they wanted to save money for their power grid and enrich the already rich. Don't whitewash it. You had 50 years of warnings. again and again now people died. if you're reading this congratulations you were either lucky or rich enough to avoid dying.
john piers
john piers 15 days ago
But when you think about it Texas maybe the safest state in terms of energy. It may suffer occasionally like this but if something was to hit those huge power grids in the east and west, it possible all major cities would be affected except in Texas.
Nick L
Nick L 16 days ago
Business needs to stop putting profit over life. Never forget how valuable YOU are. If you do something right from the start there wouldn’t be problems.
Pyro 16 days ago
In the map they show in the beginning, New York and New Jersey are merged
Adam Place
Adam Place 17 days ago
The experiment in privatization has failed.
Pebbs800 18 days ago
interesting how vox decided to not include that texas submitted a request to the EPA to increase power output for this storm before the fact but it was denied by the federal government
koen Armstrong
koen Armstrong 19 days ago
Wow it looks like the climate is changing🧐 It’s not gonna matter when half the world is under water and everybody has to find a new place to live or worse. Hopefully not
Hab N
Hab N 19 days ago
there has been a literal power outage in California and I am scared.
DarkChocolate33 20 days ago
Am I the only one that noticed that Vox spelled the video wrong? Feel like it should be Texas' instead of Texas's.
Jeremiah Muñoz
Jeremiah Muñoz 20 days ago
Texas: *Im so not used to this i think i need more Help, we arent used to Winter* Russia, Canada, and Nordic countries: *AMATUERS*
Nick L
Nick L 20 days ago
The evil people left there most helpful state astray. They do not gaf about us.
i feel like the planned parenthood building is atracting catastrophes upon texas, dont see a bright future to the land.
Its Legit Ryan
Its Legit Ryan 21 day ago
And yall want electric cars💀
Crystal Glaza
Crystal Glaza 21 day ago
Let's start our own country and have no problems at all 🙂
G L 21 day ago
But how are we going to pay for it if we need the money to bomb Syria.
legenden kjær YT
Texas: makes it impossible for the federal government to help Them Also Texas when the federal government doesnt help Them: suprised Pikachu face
DCBJ2011 22 days ago
I’m from Dallas and this winter storm was 100x worse than covid ever was here
Eko Hermiyanto
Eko Hermiyanto 22 days ago
The Mighty Morphin Texas Ranger should do something about it
Glendon Caballero
Glendon Caballero 22 days ago
As someone who lives in the Caribbean, it's so interesting that you guys called 5 C warm 😂
Jan Six
Jan Six 22 days ago
Preparing for unpredictable and infrequent events? What do you wanna be Germans now!
A_ 23 days ago
The U.S Government is not obligated to save you. Become a Prepper Today!
Mix Crowd TV
Mix Crowd TV 23 days ago
can you make a documentary about whats being done to fix this or is nothing being done?
The Dwight Mamba
The Dwight Mamba 23 days ago
The rest of the United States maintained our grids, updating them as needed. They say not to mess with Texas. Turns out it's because they are about as tough as tissue paper down there.
Mark Alcarez
Mark Alcarez 20 days ago
traingp7 23 days ago
A once in a 30 year event happens and you blame the power grid for something that doesn't happen almost ever. The grid is built for peak summer time output not winter time and it 's not supposed to be winterized.
Alex Martinez
Alex Martinez 23 days ago
This was very interesting. The winter storm that affected Texas has affected the automotive industry as well. Since the factories can't run as normal, parts necessary to assemble vehicles can't be delivered. As a result the other companies have to reduce their production &/or workforce. It is basically a ripple effect.
Mr Moss
Mr Moss 23 days ago
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nathan baines
nathan baines 24 days ago
Alia Schnarr
Alia Schnarr 24 days ago
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A B 24 days ago
The lone wolf dies and only the pack survives.
Pacific Blue
Pacific Blue 24 days ago
So where the government is going to get this money to rebuild our power grid and infrastructure? Our debt now exceeds GDP. This shows how inept the government is in meeting the needs of the people. When the grid is eventually rebuilt, expect a lot of excess, inefficiencies, politicing, and corruption.
Donnie Baker
Donnie Baker 24 days ago
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Master King Lee
Master King Lee 24 days ago
When you wanna be in your own world, and suddenly your world is hit with a disaster - it’s your own problem son!
Cant think Of anything
so why do we accept refugees? its not our problem like how you said. California tried to secede but they have tons of wildfires monthly. According to you its not our problem.
MuffinTessee 25 days ago
Republicans: dur dur dur it really cold for 7 days in texas so climate change a hoax, also it wind mill fault cause mill blow up when get cold
AntiSocial 25 days ago
They are not used to the cold
eioshen boboi
eioshen boboi 25 days ago
The managers of the electric companies have all kinds of emergency equipment installed with their huge salaries. For them.. Not for you, suckers..
eioshen boboi
eioshen boboi 25 days ago
As a Canadian, when I first saw Texas I was like "Oh! How pretty!"
Trey Morr
Trey Morr 26 days ago
White Elephant Productions
I didn't have power for three days, it was so shocking (but not surprising) to learn how much of Texas is behind just to make money for already wealthy people. I lost all my plants, my beloved dog... It was so depressing. I'm from a place where summers hit triple digits normally, I know
Ace Faletti
Ace Faletti 26 days ago
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lenny koss
lenny koss 26 days ago
Joel Arriaga
Joel Arriaga 26 days ago
Texas should just be it’s own country at this point 😒
Razian Amira
Razian Amira 26 days ago
_“Corona doesn't break the system; Corona exposed a broken system.”_ likewise... _“The snowstorm doesn't break the system; the snowstorm exposed a broken system.”_
Orange Boi
Orange Boi 18 days ago
What does likewise mean? I know i can ask google but her answers are different
M R 26 days ago
Every time Biden picks up a pen he destroys more of the U.S haha. You get what you vote for
Andrew Kriz
Andrew Kriz 26 days ago
I lost power because I am in Texas
Tyler Peters
Tyler Peters 26 days ago
Ha we Canadians run better in the cold
Jason Victoriano
Jason Victoriano 26 days ago
To tell me why I don’t live in Texas but still lost power
Daquan McDonald
Daquan McDonald 27 days ago
If the us was smart they would start finding ways to keep up after this big lose
Steven Klinkhamer
Steven Klinkhamer 27 days ago
Excellent. But is anybody listening?
Victor Bui
Victor Bui 27 days ago
PRO TIP for future blizzards and freezes: Before the cold hits, shut off your home's water system. Map out your house's water pipelines and make sure you leave at least one or two water faucets trickling. When the freeze rolls over, slowly open your water main and pay attention to your walls and ceilings where the water pipes run. If you notice any leaks or dark spots appearing on your walls, shot off your water and fix it.
David Stearns
David Stearns 18 days ago
Good tips and always prudent steps but folks seem to be waiting for someone else to take those precautions.
urgdaddy 27 days ago
God Bless Generac, Largest distributor is in Houston.
Relias Brothers
Relias Brothers 27 days ago
Texas well most of Texas is pretty dum no cap no cap
Happycrusher 27 days ago
Even the electrical supply in the US is Just old and a Joke. In Germany a normal Winter night is - 10 °c ( dont know what that in Fahrenheit is, noone uses that exept the US ) and Not one country in Europe has These Problems. The US hat enough time to prepare . But they need to Pay there Money for some new Fighter plane
speedyfireball 27 days ago
As a Canadian, when I first saw Texas I was like "Oh! How pretty!"
A L E X 27 days ago
i wanna go hoooooooooome i wanna go hoome! -sandy cheeks
fox gamming
fox gamming 27 days ago
i live in texas and i lost power for a day! and i wont lie it was not fun at all, as soon as the heater in my house had stopped working it got cold with in a few hours it was way below freezing in my town!, my grandmothers pipes busted thankfully it wasn't bad me and my dad got it repaired fast, after that power had come back on and would go out again, and it would do that for 2 days before we deemed it safe to restore our computers!. I will say that it can get cold out here in texas at the normal for my area, it can get down to 32f!, and in the past its got down to 20f before and our grid stayed online, but this last freeze we had was different it hit so fast and hard the grid just couldn't take it!, sorry for the long comment i wanted to share my story of the lone star black out!
Blake the Tank
Blake the Tank 27 days ago
Shoutout to Nissan of McKinney lol
Mia Khalifa
Mia Khalifa 27 days ago
The disgusted politician mathematically curl because city impressively irritate off a drunk elbow. icy, blue sprout
archtroll 27 days ago
texas.. home of Enron and the great 2021 power failure. The energy state!
YinzerJr79 27 days ago
Vox, is that graph at 5:30 taking inflation into account? Like is that all in current USD?
Bence H
Bence H 27 days ago
In America, as long as something isn't worth it for large companies, it won't happen.
ANIMATION WEB 3 27 days ago
Shouldn't have voted for Conservatives 😂 Bonk!
MsMeditatingPanda 27 days ago
I'm a Texan. Was here in 1989 don't remember anyone we knew losing power like this. After surviving this I just want to know what's going to be done about it. Some died, some barely made it. Some are elderly or sick. Some of us can't afford another storm like this. They want to raise the electricity bills on people already stretched. Some of these people can't afford a decent generator. By the grace of God did my family only lose electricity. If we had lost water or had a pipe burst ....I don't even want to know. If you made it without both much love and respect to you. I pray I never forget this but I want to do something about it.
Usarkar Zts
Usarkar Zts Day ago
@Darryl Davis lol, you are deluded.
Usarkar Zts
Usarkar Zts Day ago
@Darryl Davis what? You truly believe that?
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin 28 days ago
I live in Texas and why electricity went out 3:21 am Me watching this me ohhhhh
PriusRaj 28 days ago
Lost power during that. Worst winter of my life, and I grew up in Iowa.
wig smey
wig smey 28 days ago
So we work together, whether we like it or not 😂
Alex Tsahalis
Alex Tsahalis 28 days ago
Way to go, Texas!! Yeehaw!!
J G 28 days ago
Now, why did they go it alone? Greed.
J G 28 days ago
Still not too late to make it “last months”!
KendrixTermina 28 days ago
regulation is good actually
EdricLysharae 28 days ago
Sure you want to stand alone, Lone Star State?
王思聪是我哥 28 days ago
One of my friend died because of this
alenworkar345 misse456
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Akshay S. Kumar
Akshay S. Kumar 29 days ago
Texas is God’s own country
Akshay S. Kumar
Akshay S. Kumar 28 days ago
@s H nah Israel is Jews country
s H
s H 28 days ago
Interresting. I thought its Israel
Tardar Sauce
Tardar Sauce 29 days ago
Federal regulations are just part of Big Gov's plan to take away our freedom and money, amirite?? Surely it has nothing to do with common sense and basic logic, right???
s H
s H 28 days ago
Well the states with regulations, didnt had any problems
Pawit Ninnabodee
Pawit Ninnabodee 29 days ago
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Agustina Chappell
Agustina Chappell 29 days ago
Anything goes now a days.
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