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Winter storm Uri sparks energy crisis: Cold blast freezes natural gas pipelines and wind turbines, 5 MILLION are left without power and electricity and oil prices surge to record highs

 The brutal winter storm that is currently hitting the US has sparked an energy crisis with the cold blast freezing natural gas pipelines and wind turbines - as electricity and oil prices surge to record highs and about five million Texas homes are plunged into darkness with rolling blackouts.

The rare deep freeze continues to wreak havoc on the energy industry with Texas oil wells and refineries halted and restrictions enforced on natural gas and crude pipeline operators.

Suppliers from Texas to North Dakota have now also been forced to impose unprecedented rolling blackouts because of higher power demand in a bid to prevent the collapse of their networks. 


In Texas, wind turbines - which account for a fifth of the state's energy - have frozen solid and contributed to the state's power woes as temperatures plummet to a bitter -20F.

More than 4 million people in the Lone Star state were without power overnight and many residents took desperate refuge in their cars for warmth as their homes turned to ice blocks. Power outages were also reported in Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana.

'I've been following energy markets and grid issues for a while, and I cannot recall an extreme weather event that impacted such a large swath of the nation in this manner — the situation is critical,' Neil Chatterjee, a member of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, told Bloomberg.   

The current crisis started to unfold when freezing temperatures that started at the beginning of the month sent prices for heating fuels, including oil and natural gas, surging higher.

The rapidly dropping temperatures resulted in gas pipelines seizing up, wind turbines freezing and oil wells shutting. It occurred at a time when demand for heating - from households and businesses - surged to record highs. 

MISSOURI: Snowplows form a gangplow to clear the snow on Highway 270 in Des Peres, Missouri on Monday. St. Louis received about eight inches of snow as temperatures remained around zero for the day, with real feel temperatures about 16 degrees below zero

MISSOURI: Snowplows form a gangplow to clear the snow on Highway 270 in Des Peres, Missouri on Monday. St. Louis received about eight inches of snow as temperatures remained around zero for the day, with real feel temperatures about 16 degrees below zero

TEXAS: Dan Bryant and his wife Anna huddle by the fire with sons Benny, 3, and Sam, 12 weeks, along with their dog Joey, also wearing two doggie sweaters, with power out and temperatures dropping inside their home after a winter storm brought snow and freezing temperatures to North Texas

TEXAS: Dan Bryant and his wife Anna huddle by the fire with sons Benny, 3, and Sam, 12 weeks, along with their dog Joey, also wearing two doggie sweaters, with power out and temperatures dropping inside their home after a winter storm brought snow and freezing temperatures to North Texas

A map from poweroutage.us showed that nearly 5 million people were without power in Texas, and several hundred thousand in Louisiana and Oregon

A map from poweroutage.us showed that nearly 5 million people were without power in Texas, and several hundred thousand in Louisiana and Oregon


The Southwest Power Pool, a group of utilities across 14 states, called for rolling outages because the supply of reserve energy had been exhausted. Some utilities said they were starting blackouts, while others urged customers to reduce power usage.

Surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas’ system beyond the limits.

President Joe Biden has declared an emergency in Texas to pledge federal aid to the state. The crisis has sparked concerns about how the energy landscape may change amid the push to rely on renewable energy instead of fossil fuels. 

As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits in Texas, officials warned that homes in the state still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday.  

'Things will likely get worse before they get better,' said Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the top elected official in the county of nearly 5 million people around Houston.  

Temperatures nosedived into the single-digits as far south as San Antonio, and homes that had already been without electricity for hours had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back on, as the state's overwhelmed power grid began imposing blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit.

'We're living through a really historic event going on right now,' said Jason Furtado, a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, pointing to all of Texas under a winter storm warning and the extent of the freezing temperatures.  

State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas' system beyond the limits.

'This weather event, it's really unprecedented. We all living here know that,' said Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. He defended preparations made by grid operators and described the demand on the system as record-setting.

'This event was well beyond the design parameters for a typical, or even an extreme, Texas winter that you would normally plan for. And so that is really the result that we're seeing,' Woodfin said. 

MISSOURI: A man uses a snow shovel as he attempts to clear his big rig, stuck in snow in downtown St. Louis during a snow storm on Monday

MISSOURI: A man uses a snow shovel as he attempts to clear his big rig, stuck in snow in downtown St. Louis during a snow storm on Monday

TEXAS: People try to free their cars from the snow in Waco on Monday after record snowfall blanketed the state and caused rolling blackouts

TEXAS: People try to free their cars from the snow in Waco on Monday after record snowfall blanketed the state and caused rolling blackouts

KANSAS: A man clears snow from a driveway in Prairie Village where temperatures are expected to drop to -9 degrees

KANSAS: A man clears snow from a driveway in Prairie Village where temperatures are expected to drop to -9 degrees

Three people were killed in North Carolina in the early hours of Tuesday when a tornado ripped through Brunswick County, destroying homes, downing power lines and snapping trees in half (pictured: damage left in Brunswick County after the tornado ripped through)

Three people were killed in North Carolina in the early hours of Tuesday when a tornado ripped through Brunswick County, destroying homes, downing power lines and snapping trees in half (pictured: damage left in Brunswick County after the tornado ripped through)

OREGON: Heavy snowfall caused a partial roof collapse at a Safeway supermarket in Troutdale, on SW Cherry Park Rd. There were no reported injuries

OREGON: Heavy snowfall caused a partial roof collapse at a Safeway supermarket in Troutdale, on SW Cherry Park Rd. There were no reported injuries

FLORIDA: In Georgia and Florida, several homes and structures were damaged and at least four people were hurt, following a series of tornadoes that touched down across Monday afternoon (Park City, shown above)

FLORIDA: In Georgia and Florida, several homes and structures were damaged and at least four people were hurt, following a series of tornadoes that touched down across Monday afternoon (Park City, shown above)


The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) sought to cut power use in response to a winter record of 69,150 megawatts on Sunday evening, more than 3,200 MW higher than the previous winter peak in January 2018.

About 10,500 MW of customer load was shed at the highest point, enough power to serve approximately 2 million homes, it said, adding that extreme weather caused many generating units across fuel types to trip offline and become unavailable.

'Controlled outages will continue through today and into early tomorrow, possibly all of tomorrow,' Dan Woodfin, director of systems operations at ERCOT, told a briefing.

The storms knocked out nearly half the state's wind power generation capacity on Sunday. Wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of electricity in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies, ERCOT estimates.

Of the 25,000-plus MW of wind power capacity normally available in Texas, 12,000 MW were out of service on Sunday morning, an ERCOT spokeswoman said.

An emergency notice issued by the regulator urged customers to limit power usage and prevent an uncontrolled system-wide outage.

The spot price of electricity on the Texas power grid spiked more than 10,000% on Monday.

Due to the extreme cold across the region where it operates, Arkansas-based Southwest Power Pool said it had directed member utilities to implement rolling blackouts.  

'In our history as a grid operator, this is an unprecedented event and it marks the first time SPP has ever had to call for controlled interruptions of service,' Executive Vice President Lanny Nickell said in a statement.

In Dallas, officials told residents to refrain from calling 911 to report power outages as the 911 call center became overwhelmed with power outage calls.  

TEXAS: Treacherous driving conditions brought on by the storm have left roadways largely deserted outside Dallas

TEXAS: Treacherous driving conditions brought on by the storm have left roadways largely deserted outside Dallas

TEXAS: State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas' system beyond the limits

TEXAS: State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas' system beyond the limits

TEXAS: As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday

TEXAS: As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday

TENNESSEE: A 10-year-old boy in Tennessee tragically died after falling into a frozen pond (above) and drowning. His sister, 6, is currently in critical condition, after also falling in

TENNESSEE: A 10-year-old boy in Tennessee tragically died after falling into a frozen pond (above) and drowning. His sister, 6, is currently in critical condition, after also falling in

WASHINGTON: A woman clears snow from her driveway in Spokane on Monday as she tries to get to a morning appointment on time

WASHINGTON: A woman clears snow from her driveway in Spokane on Monday as she tries to get to a morning appointment on time

TEXAS: 4.38 million people in the Lone Star State are currently without power as of Monday night (pictured: In order to save electricity, the promenade lights and screens are turned off in front of American Airlines Center which was to host the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars NHL hockey game)

TEXAS: 4.38 million people in the Lone Star State are currently without power as of Monday night (pictured: In order to save electricity, the promenade lights and screens are turned off in front of American Airlines Center which was to host the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars NHL hockey game)

MISSISSIPPI: A sign warns motorists after a sudden heavy bout of snow and frozen rain on MS Highway 463 in Madison, north of Jackson

MISSISSIPPI: A sign warns motorists after a sudden heavy bout of snow and frozen rain on MS Highway 463 in Madison, north of Jackson

KENTUCKY: Snow falls at the United Parcel Service (UPS) WorldPort hub located at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville

KENTUCKY: Snow falls at the United Parcel Service (UPS) WorldPort hub located at Louisville Muhammad Ali International Airport in Louisville

TEXAS: A rare winter snowfall measuring at least half a foot hit central Texas as the State Capitol and Congress Avenue becomes nearly impassable

INDIANA: Snow also began falling in South Bend, Indiana on Monday night as Storm Uri raged on

INDIANA: Snow also began falling in South Bend, Indiana on Monday night as Storm Uri raged on

1 comment:

  1. Have fun with those IDIOTIC PIPE DREAM WINDMILLS you bunch of tree hugging SIMPS. Burn that oil and coal, the most abundant resources available. Oil is CONSTANTLY being produced in the ground, not coming from some horse-vomit "fossil fuel" non-sense. So how is that "renewable" "green" KRAP idea working out now? Damn SIMPS.

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