How Right Wing Media is Lying About the Power Outages in TX (1 Viewer)

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MT15

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This just illustrates why lawyers for Fox were able to successfully defend Tucker by claiming no reasonable person expects to get facts from him.


How are people fooled by this? The minute I saw the fake claim on social media that the “windmills are all frozen” I was skeptical. There are windmills all over the North. It just didn’t make sense.
 

Roofgardener

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This is one of the reasons I oppose deregulation of the utility sector. As with the financial sector, we don't need the "cutting edge" financial instruments in place of reliability and stability. Having spent a long time in energy, I think there is no way the average consumer could reasonably evaluate the risk of wholesale market prices. Where would they even get reliable information? From the utilities and regulators who themselves opposed reasonable requirements for winterization of grid infrastructure? I think not.
I'd have to agree Yggdrasill !
We don't have this sort of nonsense in the UK. People pay a fixed rate per unit of electricity (or gas). It does not go up and down, except perhaps yearly ? It certainly doesn't oscillate in the way you have described.

But then, I get the impression that our grid supply is somewhat more stable as well ?

When I was a kid, fed on TV programs like The Dukes of Hazard and Charlies Angels and the like, I assumed that the USA had the best of everything, and was VERY organised. Having seen your mains outlets (and heard stories about supply reliability), I'm really not so sure ?
 

RobF

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I'd have to agree Yggdrasill !
We don't have this sort of nonsense in the UK. People pay a fixed rate per unit of electricity (or gas). It does not go up and down, except perhaps yearly ? It certainly doesn't oscillate in the way you have described.
This isn't right. People often sign up to fixed rate tariffs, but literally millions of people are on standard variable tariffs which can vary from month to month, and we also have a few suppliers with tariffs that track the wholesale rate, updated daily.

When I was a kid, fed on TV programs like The Dukes of Hazard and Charlies Angels and the like, I assumed that the USA had the best of everything, and was VERY organised. Having seen your mains outlets (and heard stories about supply reliability), I'm really not so sure ?
OK, you have to be trolling here, because there's zero chance anyone would get the impression that the USA was 'VERY organised' from The Dukes of Hazzard.
 

Taurus

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The variable electric rates, like ARMs, are sold as something you can keep track of and do something about should prices start to rise.
ARM contracts are almost always written with a limiter where the interest rate can only rise by X per month and Y total.

You sign such a contract with that knowledge in mind, even if you're super savvy and plugged in to the market.

You can't monitor it if A: you have no power and no cellular service so you're physically unable to check what the rates are doing and B: it changes 15,000% overnight.

IMHO the ones most able to pay, IE power companies, should be the ones to bear the cost of their own ineptitude.

Jacking up prices by an order of magnitude while you're simultaneously failing millions is the exact opposite of how capitalism is supposed to work.
 

GMRfellowtraveller

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When I was a kid, fed on TV programs like The Dukes of Hazard and Charlies Angels and the like, I assumed that the USA had the best of everything, and was VERY organised. Having seen your mains outlets (and heard stories about supply reliability), I'm really not so sure ?
so, before deregulation
 

Roofgardener

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This isn't right. People often sign up to fixed rate tariffs, but literally millions of people are on standard variable tariffs which can vary from month to month, and we also have a few suppliers with tariffs that track the wholesale rate, updated daily.


OK, you have to be trolling here, because there's zero chance anyone would get the impression that the USA was 'VERY organised' from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Truly ? In all my years, I've never encountered that ?
OK.. well... Dallas, then ?
 

Roofgardener

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Jacking up prices by an order of magnitude while you're simultaneously failing millions is the exact opposite of how capitalism is supposed to work.
Well, strictly speaking, Capitalism just means making money (sort of). The most profitable company is one who can charge customers while delivering no service whatsover ?
 

J-DONK

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Well, strictly speaking, Capitalism just means making money (sort of). The most profitable company is one who can charge customers while delivering no service whatsover ?
It's called inelastic demand. It's why a market solution doesn't work for energy, telecom broadband, or healthcare.
 

Yggdrasill

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It's called inelastic demand. It's why a market solution doesn't work for energy, telecom broadband, or healthcare.
I agree that healthcare is largely demand inelastic, energy and broadband less so. The issue there has to do more with distribution systems being either a natural monopoly or a duopoly.
 

insidejob

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I agree that healthcare is largely demand inelastic, energy and broadband less so. The issue there has to do more with distribution systems being either a natural monopoly or a duopoly.
In healthcare specifically, couldn't they do something like M4A while keeping the present systems/institutions in place? Of course there would have to be adjustments and realignments and the facilities that don't take medicaid/medicare could end up being forced to do so (or could they?) and those that ONLY take medicaid/medicare could be forced to (which would be really nice - but could they be forced to take it?)? I think it'd make competition for better medical care more fierce than it is now. Hell, even though I have private insurance, I choose to go to UMC if I need emergency medicine right now because I know they have the best trauma treatment teams in the region.
 

Yggdrasill

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I'd have to agree Yggdrasill !
We don't have this sort of nonsense in the UK. People pay a fixed rate per unit of electricity (or gas). It does not go up and down, except perhaps yearly ? It certainly doesn't oscillate in the way you have described.

But then, I get the impression that our grid supply is somewhat more stable as well ?

When I was a kid, fed on TV programs like The Dukes of Hazard and Charlies Angels and the like, I assumed that the USA had the best of everything, and was VERY organised. Having seen your mains outlets (and heard stories about supply reliability), I'm really not so sure ?
I don't know if the UK's grid supply is more stable per se. It is VERY stable; the entire transmission system is served by a single entity, National Grid. In the US, it is more complicated and convoluted, due to geography, history, politics. Myriad, overlapping power jurisdictions exist, doing different things: utilities (public and private), state utility commissions, Independent System Operators, transmission system operators, four federal power marketing administrations (Tennessee Valley, Bonneville, Western Area, Southeastern Area). Where it is well-regulated, it works very well, but not always. Texas is an example of where poor regulation comes up short. Some regulated jurisdictions suffer from regulatory capture and corruption. See the "Nukegate Scandal" in Wikipedia, which describes the massively expensive failed construction of two nuclear plants in South Carolina, enable in part by the butt crevasses in the State Legislature who passed the "Baseload Review Act" which essentially allowed utilities to shift the risk of construction on to ratepayers, with the almost inevitable consequences.
 

efil4

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I'd have to agree Yggdrasill !
We don't have this sort of nonsense in the UK. People pay a fixed rate per unit of electricity (or gas). It does not go up and down, except perhaps yearly ? It certainly doesn't oscillate in the way you have described.

But then, I get the impression that our grid supply is somewhat more stable as well ?

When I was a kid, fed on TV programs like The Dukes of Hazard and Charlies Angels and the like, I assumed that the USA had the best of everything, and was VERY organised. Having seen your mains outlets (and heard stories about supply reliability), I'm really not so sure ?
I dont think its as much as a "grid problem" than it is supply issue.

For instance, if an electric company, lets call them PENTERGY, has demand that exceeds their ability to generate, they have to go out and "buy" the difference.

However, "buy" simply means they pay for it, then pass that charge along to the consumer in their bill as a line item. IIRC, the term is Fuel Adjustment charge.

So, when you have a cold snap ( or heat wave ) and the demand exceeds production, PENTERGY gets to go out and find additional electricity, regardless of how its generated and how much, and pass that charge to the consumer.
 

Yggdrasill

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I dont think its as much as a "grid problem" than it is supply issue.

For instance, if an electric company, lets call them PENTERGY, has demand that exceeds their ability to generate, they have to go out and "buy" the difference.

However, "buy" simply means they pay for it, then pass that charge along to the consumer in their bill as a line item. IIRC, the term is Fuel Adjustment charge.

So, when you have a cold snap ( or heat wave ) and the demand exceeds production, PENTERGY gets to go out and find additional electricity, regardless of how its generated and how much, and pass that charge to the consumer.
It depends on the time frame you're talking about. Most utilities have to do some kind forecasting, often in the form of an Integrated Resource Plan, where they lay out all their investments, their demand forecasts, supply sources, and so on. I think it is pretty rare for a utility to have to buy a lot of power on the spot market; utilities have to maintain spinning reserves just for this eventuality. But during an emergency, where a bunch of generation suddenly goes offline and demand also spikes (such as happened in Texas), things can get expensive quickly.

Utilities that have demand response programs in place can reduce demand quickly, for a short period of time.
 

Roofgardener

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Hmm.. I guess you DO have five times our population and - what - 40 times our land area ? So I'd accept that causes a greater technical challenge. Also, under a sensible Conservative government, we don't have the weather extremes that you do. (indeed, both snowfall and wind speeds have declined 30% under Boris Johnson.)
 

Xeno

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Hmm.. I guess you DO have five times our population and - what - 40 times our land area ? So I'd accept that causes a greater technical challenge. Also, under a sensible Conservative government, we don't have the weather extremes that you do. (indeed, both snowfall and wind speeds have declined 30% under Boris Johnson.)
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efil4

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It depends on the time frame you're talking about. Most utilities have to do some kind forecasting, often in the form of an Integrated Resource Plan, where they lay out all their investments, their demand forecasts, supply sources, and so on. I think it is pretty rare for a utility to have to buy a lot of power on the spot market; utilities have to maintain spinning reserves just for this eventuality. But during an emergency, where a bunch of generation suddenly goes offline and demand also spikes (such as happened in Texas), things can get expensive quickly.

Utilities that have demand response programs in place can reduce demand quickly, for a short period of time.

and that "expense" ends up paid for by the consumer.

And in a State like Texas, with zero regulation, its a free-for-all.
 

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