Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Presidential hopeful quick to ease resentment over blackouts

Perry assured all that environmenal enforcement is going slack for duration of winter weather power shortage

BULLETIN: The rolling blackouts ended - not with a bang, but with a whimper, when Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst weighed in on the environmental debate during the worst winter weather emergency in 15 years. With temperatures dipping into the teens and water pipes bursting in two power plants, a statewide trade group of power plant operators reacted with an eye on air quality figures. Mr. Dewhurst checked and found that the power grid was nowhere capacity, the levers were thrown, gears meshed, and the blackouts ended - for now.
They may be back on Thursday evening or Friday morning, depending on the weather. Keep your popsicle toes crossed, Texas. Baby, it's cold outside. Oh, yeah.
- The Legendary
Austin - The gloves came off of environmental quality regulation during the winter weather emergency when Governor Rick Perry announced power generating stations “have authorized maximum emission limits.”

“Additionally, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is using its enforcement discretion for all power generating facilities during this rolling outage period.”

Mr. Perry said “Violations of these limits will be treated with enforcement discretion as power plants respond to the current power emergency...”

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a trade group that controls the power grid for about 75 percent of the state, had planned the rolling blackouts in advance of a cold snap of this magnitude, according to a spokesman for Oncor.

When temperatures dropped into the teens from the Oklahoma border to Austin and from the Midland-Odessa area to the piney woods of east Texas at Lufkin, the rolling blackouts began at about 6 a.m. today without warning, leaving traffic lights inoperable and schools developing chilly inside temperatures in the freezing weather.

Industrial plants were idled, businesses, homes and all faciities except hospitals and nursing homes went dark for periods of 15 minutes to 45 minutes on a rolling basis.

Immediately facebooking tweeters from throughout the political spectrum cranked up the griping and grousing on internet outlets statewide, raising hell over environmental regulations and blaming a power shortage on air quality standards.

The reality is that Texas has mostly ignored the stringent regulations imposed from above by Washington, D.C., environmental managers. Governor Perry has led the charge with bellicose ferocity, following in the footsteps of former Governor George “Dub-yah” Bush, president of the United States for two terms.

Governor Perry has gone so far as threatening secession over such issues as environmental regulation and health care reform that would require Texans to buy health insurance, whether they want it, or not.

The Governor guaranteed consumers that rotating outages will be limited in duration to 10 to 45 minutes, “unless equipment trips due to a power surgege during the restoration process;” customers can minimize the chance power surges will occur by turning off all but essential applicatioins, lights and other electrical equipment; and cautioned all to minimize unnecessary travel, “as traffic signals may go out of service, resulting in traffic jams.”
Weather forecasters predicted similar conditions on Thursday, with temperatures easing on Friday and finally reaching temperate levels during the weekend.

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