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Ted Cruz called for state energy regulation despite lauding Texas' lack of regulation 2 years ago

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 22 Feb 2021


<p><img src="https://static3.businessinsider.com/image/6033c571bed5c50011a2bca7-2000/Ted%20Cruz%202.jpg" border="0" alt="Ted Cruz" data-mce-source="Erin Scott/Reuters" data-mce-caption="GOP Sen. Ted Cruz gestures as he speaks to members of the media during the fifth day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, February 13, 2021."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is pushing for regulators to step in after a statewide winter storm knocked out power for millions of Texans in mid-February.</p><p>But it wasn't long ago that Cruz attributed the state's prior energy successes to low regulation.</p><p>Texas began its quest for energy deregulation in 1999, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/21/us/texas-electricity-ercot-blackouts.html#:~:text=Part%20of%20the%20responsibility%20for,based%20patchwork%20of%20private%20generators%2C">according to The New York Times,</a> when the state shifted control of the sector to a market-based system reliant on private generators, retail electric providers, and transmission companies. Texas is the only state in the mainland-US that is not part of the federal electric grid.</p><p>Twenty years later, in 2019, the state's crude oil production broke a 40-year-old record, prompting Cruz to cite Texas' decision to deregulate the sector as a primary reason for its energy production and suggested that more states should do the same.</p><p>"We work to export this recipe for success to more &amp; more states so that all Americans enjoy the same prosperity," <a href="https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1095813726299742209's=20">Cruz said in a tweet</a>.</p><div><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en" data-cards="" data-conversation=""><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://t.co/ur8Egh73Eb">pic.twitter.com/ur8Egh73Eb</a></p> Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1363577811462742017'ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 21, 2021</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><p>Just two years later in February 2021, however, a US-wide winter storm blanketed the nation in snow and ice, prompting electricity struggles for millions of Americans. No state was affected more than Texas, which saw <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/texas-winter-storm-power-outage-ercot/#58cb6af3-8a8d-46cb-b00c-6c11aafe1fb9">water disruptions in nearly half of the state</a>. Millions of residents were left without power for days.</p><p>According to reporting from <a href="https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/18/texas-power-outages-ercot/">The Texas Tribune</a>, the state's energy grid was just "seconds and minutes" away from being powerless for months after energy demands skyrocketed just as natural-gas resources and renewable-energy sources froze due to the extreme cold.</p><p>As the winter weather crisis unfolded nationwide, the wholesale price of <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/why-texas-residents-hit-with-soaring-electric-bills-winter-storms-2021-2">electricity rose 10,000</a><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/why-texas-residents-hit-with-soaring-electric-bills-winter-storms-2021-2">%</a><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/why-texas-residents-hit-with-soaring-electric-bills-winter-storms-2021-2"></a>from $50 per megawatt-hour to $9,000leading some Texans with index or variable-rate energy plans to exorbitantly-high electric bills for less than a week's worth of electricity. Because of minimal regulation in the energy sector, Texans are encouraged to <a href="https://www.texaspowerguide.com/texas-electricity-shopping/">shop for their own plans</a> on the open market.</p><p>After seeing a<a href="https://www.dallasnews.com/business/2021/02/20/griddy-customers-face-5000-bills-for-5-freezing-days-in-texas/">Dallas News article on Twitter</a> regarding one Texan's $5,000 energy bill, Cruz broke from his previous position on the state's energy policies and called for local and state regulators to <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/1363529410268319747's=20">"act swiftly to prevent this injustice."</a></p><p>Cruz's press team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.</p><p>The senator's call-to-action on Twitter came after days of being <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-cancun-texas-2021-2">relentlessly mocked in the news</a> and online. As millions in the state suffered in the cold, some of whom <a href="https://www.insider.com/11-year-old-texas-died-mobile-home-lost-power-hypothermia-2021-2">died of hypothermia</a> or carbon monoxide poisoning, Cruz was seen traveling to Cancun, Mexico for a vacation with his wife and kids. Cruz originally said his plan was only to drop his family off and immediately return home, but records show he originally <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-left-cancun-earlier-planned-amid-torrent-of-criticism-2021-2">planned to stay for several days longer</a>.</p><p>Following his return to the US and remarks to the news media, Cruz posted photos to his congressional Twitter account of himself <a href="https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1363335355609530368's=20">placing water bottles</a> into two cars and <a href="https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1363577069205078019's=20">serving barbecue</a> to Houston first responders.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/ted-cruz-demands-regulation-after-high-energy-bills-2021-2#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/pikes-peak-hill-climb-colorado-most-dangerous-racetrack-2020-2">Why Pikes Peak is the most dangerous racetrack in America</a></p>
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