During the third week of February in 2021, most of Texas was drenched in snow that caused power outages to millions of its residents. During that week, Texas officials claimed that “green energy” was responsible for said power outages, and the state should therefore not switch from oil and natural gas. However, this claim is not true. A lack of natural gas supplies was responsible for two thirds of power outages, while wind tribunes shutdowns only contributed to the remaining third of power outages. It is unsustainable for Texas to continue to rely heavily on natural gas and oil, as that will continue to speed up climate change. In fact, according to the White House, the severe winter storm was a result of climate change.
Using natural gas will contribute greater to climate change more than its cleaner alternatives. As such, it is unsustainable for the state to rely on it longer it needs to because weather and temperature patterns will become more erratic. This will strengthen natural disasters and increase the number of extreme weather events, and as such, governments will have to spend a lot more money repairing areas that were impacted by them. Therefore, governments should lower its greenhouse gas emissions if they want a better long-term economy. New clean energy jobs will be created, potentially more than the number of unsustainable energy jobs lost. Companies can use this opportunity to promote growth and show the public they will fight climate change. Companies should not have to worry about profits, as jobs that fight climate change will only grow more valuable over time.
Other politicians have disputed the Texas officials’ claims and said that the U.S. should be working towards implementing more clean energy, which every politician should fight for. Politicians need to stop promoting oil and natural gas for politician gain and embrace a more sustainable alternative. Only then, will there be social responsibility.
Original News Story: “White House says Texas winter storm likely due to climate change.” Steve Holland & Andrea Shalal, Reuters, Feb. 18, 2021. https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-weather-whitehouse-idINKBN2AJ0CW
Picture: “ERCOT Power Outage Map, Updates As Texas Winter Storm Leaves 1.8 Million Without Power.” Seren Morris, Newsweek, Feb. 15, 2021. https://www.newsweek.com/power-outage-map-updates-texas-storm-million-without-power-1569328