Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blamed Texas for the effects of the winter storms that afflicted the state with frigid temperatures last week. It is estimated that at least 58 Americans died last week from causes directly related to the storms, including hypothermia, vehicle collisions, carbon monoxide poisoning, drownings, and house fires. As Texas and surrounding states grapple with the loss of life and property, Schumer is pointing fingers.
On Sunday, Schumer placed blame on Texas for ignoring climate change while speaking in Manhattan stating, “The bottom line is, Texas thought it could go it alone and built a system that ignored climate change.” Texas is the only state in the union to run its own power grid rather than use a national grid option. After ripping the state’s decision for the loss of life and injuries, he added, “It was not what’s called resilient, and now Texas is paying the price.”
Insinuating that Texans are climate change deniers, Schumer added, “When we build power, when we build anything now, we have to take into account that climate change is real, or people will have to be caught the way the people in Texas were.” Aside from these troubling statements, the democrat seemed to mock the people of the Lone Star State, saying, “I hope they learned a lesson.”
Reports from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) state that the reason for the loss of power to millions of citizens was due to a temperature-related lack of natural gas availability, frozen wind turbines, and frozen solar panels. Some have pointed to the failure of “green” sources of energy as the catalyst for the power failure in Texas, according to the Texas Tribune. Republican Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw tweeted Tuesday, “This is what happens when you force the grid to rely in part on wind as a power source. When weather conditions get bad as they did this week, intermittent renewable energy like wind isn’t there when you need it.”
A combination of factors likely caused the issues in Texas. Rather than lay blame and infantilize Texas residents, Schumer could be using his leadership role to offer assistance and long-term solutions.