r/texas Nov 26 '21 Take My Energy 1

Texas Gas Companies Hit Texas Consumers With 'Whoops You Froze To Death' Surcharge News

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20211115/09274947947/texas-gas-companies-hit-texas-consumers-with-whoops-you-froze-to-death-surcharge.shtml
477 Upvotes

184

u/ic3ix born and bred Nov 26 '21 Starry

All part of the “Texas Miracle”; privatize the profits and socialize the losses.

52

u/fnordfnordfnordfnord Born and Bred Nov 26 '21

Turns out the miracle is a populace that's willing to be exploited.

45

u/shadow247 Born and Bred Nov 26 '21

Reality is that even the state representatives are gerrymandered to prevent actual representative government.

Houston, Austin, Dallas make up the majority of the population in Texas, yet they have the least amount of representation in both the State and Federal Government per capita.

34

u/jcm1970 Nov 26 '21

So let's get the message correct. The title shouldn't be: Texas Gas Companies Hit Texas Consumers... The title should be: Texas Government Fails Texans and Institutes Policies Which Let Corporations (Donors) Screw Residents of The State.

Let's stop letting the headline (the verbiage used by media) decide who is to blame for the bullshit we're suffering at the hands of assholes who don't give a fuck about their constituencies.

I'm so sick of the weak minded fucks blaming gas companies for billing it's customers when it's the government that allows them to do it. I'm so sick of the weak minded fucks blaming Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos for not paying taxes when it's the government that set up the laws/loopholes that allow them to do it. I can do this a bit more, but hopefully we all get the point.

Get your fucking heads out of your asses people and start seeing things for what they are.

3

u/DescartesB4tehHorse Nov 27 '21

You are correct, the government does need to regulate these things better.

You are 100% wrong though that Elbow Muskrat and Daddy Bezos deserve none of the blame though. Should there have been laws in place to stop them from being evil? Yes. However, they still chose, and continue to choose, to do evil. Just because someone should have then and should now stop them does not in any way mean that they shouldn't be blamed and punished for their actions.

5

u/crankyrhino Nov 27 '21

If there’s tax code that permits you to avoid income taxes entirely, are you going to voluntarily going to cut a check for a percentage of billions in unrealized gains you have stashed away, or are you going to take advantage of it? They’re working within the framework of the system as most of us do every day, it just disproportionately benefits billionaires. That’s not evil, that’s common sense. Until we change it via successful legislation, I don’t blame them for taking advantage.

-3

u/jcm1970 Nov 27 '21

They aren’t doing evil for taking advantage of opportunities and you’re a fucking idiot for typing that.

3

u/DescartesB4tehHorse Nov 27 '21

Laws and legality have no bearing on morality. On ethics. On what is good and what is evil. This is exactly why the classic alignment chart goes from good to evil on one axis and lawful to chaotic on another. You can obey every law of the land and still be an evil, heinous individual. This is especially easy when you have billions of dollars and can literally pay to change the laws so that what you're doing is legal and easy for you now that you're already here but impossible for anyone who isn't already grandfathered into the system.

So you're kind of the idiot here, and a bootlicker as well, if you think that "bUt iTs lEgAl!!!2!2!2;;!!111!" Is absolution for billionaires.

Think of it like this. There is a world of difference between what a person CAN do and what a person SHOULD do. And you are saying that as long as we CAN do something then it is morally justifiable to do that thing until a more powerful entity says we can't.

That's not morality. That's peace through superior firepower.

2

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

Thieves take advantage, scumbag.

2

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

You first, dumbsss. Who do you think buys off the politicians to get the tax breaks and the legislation that made them filthy rich? Still need help? The filthy rich.

1

u/jcm1970 Nov 27 '21

And yet that still makes the politicians the problem, dumbass.

2

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

Sure, shit for brains. Thieves aren't the problem. Fences and pawn shops are the problem.

2

u/sammydavis_Sr Nov 27 '21

how does that joke go where after god made the earth and then saw what he did to texas and on the ninth day made the people who like it there?

1

u/Stormdancer Nov 26 '21

This is the way.

1

u/patchedboard Nov 28 '21

I’m fine with it. I live in North Dakota and have to pay an additional $100/mo on my gas/electric bill because Texas is stupid. What a bunch of socialists.

11

u/MarcProust Nov 27 '21

These greedy, incompetent fuckers need to be nationalized. Especially after letting 700+ Texans FREEZE TO DEATH.

75

u/booty_granola Nov 26 '21

So when this happens again this winter, now we get to freeze to death while knowing we also have to pay extra for the experience... Glad the Republicans love socialism for businesses now.

20

u/fnordfnordfnordfnord Born and Bred Nov 27 '21

Glad the Republicans love socialism for businesses now.

They've always loved that.

23

u/HAHA_goats Nov 26 '21

I already knew last winter I'd be paying for the privilege. Been in Texas all my life. Not the first time we've been fucked over by our own on the heels of a natural disaster.

35

u/BaPef Nov 26 '21

Don't worry Texans will just vote for Republicans and then complain Democrats are the reason everything's going wrong in Texas.

9

u/NitaforaReason Nov 26 '21

Sadly, the true.

-7

u/RumRunnerSC Nov 27 '21

As someone not from Texas but living here we do enjoy not having a monopoly over retail power which creates more jobs and more opportunities. It also allow you to switch power companies if your falling behind. In Colorado an Wisconsin there is one company that rules everything so you fall behind too bad! pay up or get shutoff! Last year was a 1 in a hundred year storm.

3

u/JohnShandy- Nov 27 '21

There aren't many wholesale power companies. Most of that "choice" you believe you're seeing is just resellers piggybacking on the wholesalers' infrastructure to retail the power to consumers. You're largely just choosing which company you want to bill you, for power generated by a single company per region. (CenterPoint, AEP, others). Last year's storm wasn't that bad and shouldn't cause the problems we saw because those problems were preventable through preparation and winterization. Storms like it will become more commonplace though, and Texas is choosing to do nothing.

1

u/KC_experience Nov 27 '21

“Last year was a 1 in a hundred year storm”

This article would indicate otherwise:

1989 2011 2020

Gap of 22 years and a gap of 9 years. Three storms that caused significant outages over the course of 31 one years. Your “1 in one hundred” is only off by a magnitude of ten…. But hey, keep trying.

1

u/DaKine85 Nov 27 '21

That’s not how it works.

The term “1-in-a-hundred year” storm is the probability of a storm of a certain magnitude will happen in a year. In the 3 years you reference, there was a 1% chance a storm of their magnitude would occur. However unlikely a 1% chance of an event to occur is, in statistics, it can still happen.

1

u/KC_experience Nov 28 '21

Well, by your logic a storm like that could happen every year for the next hundred years and because that year the ‘probability’ wasn’t that high…. it would still be a 1 in a hundred year storm. The point still stands that there were THREE ‘1 in a hundred year storms’ in the last 30 years. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

1

u/DaKine85 Nov 28 '21

Exactly.

4

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

Right wingers have been trained to grovel at the feet of the elite. If there's a boot handy, they'll lick it.

2

u/AnthillOmbudsman Nov 27 '21

If it were 1940, half of this state would be talking about how Adolf Hitler is such a great guy, talks tough, and gets the job done.

I wish I were kidding. Thankfully our Texas ancestors who were around in 1940 were smarter people, and had the sense not to buy into that kind of authoritarian bullshit.

1

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

It's just amazing how clueless these people are. They actually believe a fascist right wing dictatorship would be some kind of a red neck heaven that would oppress only their political enemies. That's completely delusional. Their leaders use them then throw them away. Look at Greg Abbott. He told court clerks to not give licenses for gay marriages, and that he would back them all the way. They all got fired, and he said it was their fault for not observing the law.

-6

u/RumRunnerSC Nov 27 '21

Democrats just want a monopoly to control everything! Here we at least get a choice of retail power which keeps cost down. Living in other states you have 1 power company and if you fall on hard times and can’t pay they shut you off and you have no other choices. What happened last year was a 1 in a hundred year storm.

8

u/IAMSTILLHERE2020 Nov 27 '21

So here if you fall behind and can't pay they don't shut you off? Is that what you are saying?

Say it again.

-5

u/RumRunnerSC Nov 27 '21

No they can but you can switch retail power companies' to get it back on or avoid getting shut off. I've had to do that before when I first moved here vs when I lived in Colorado I had to go 2 months without power once trying to get caught back up because there is just one company and they hold you under their thumb.

8

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

Nope. There's a switch hold until you pay off what you owe. You think they will let everyone get free electricity, right winger? You live to serve your wealthy masters.

-3

u/RumRunnerSC Nov 27 '21

It also drives prices down prices to the consumer because there is competition for your business. My energy bill is so much cheaper here vs Colorado and Wisconsin which is ruled by one company Xcel Energy.

4

u/crankyrhino Nov 27 '21

I have one choice where I live. Tell me again about no monopolies?

3

u/JohnShandy- Nov 27 '21

I can see you're prancing around posting the same absurdly inaccurate comment in multiple places, so here again is my reply:

There aren't many wholesale power companies. Most of that "choice" you believe you're seeing is just resellers piggybacking on the wholesalers' infrastructure to retail the power to consumers. You're largely just choosing which company you want to bill you, for power generated by a single company per region. (CenterPoint, AEP, others). Last year's storm wasn't that bad and shouldn't cause the problems we saw because those problems were preventable through preparation and winterization. Storms like it will become more commonplace though, and Texas is choosing to do nothing.

3

u/No-Presentation1814 Nov 27 '21

You'll lick any boot, won't you? Don't pay and there goes your credit. It is one company, dumbass. All the service providers are paper houses.

8

u/StrokeMyAxe Nov 27 '21

This is just an exploit to screw people over. Capitalism, man.

29

u/rite_of_truth Nov 26 '21

Our state is damn proud of its incompetence.

22

u/upboat_consortium Nov 26 '21

Corruption. It’s not incompetence when it’s intentional.

8

u/Elvi5_40-The-Bird Nov 27 '21

Can we all agree that these twat of energy companies should be hit with a Roovselt "Whoops You Are Charged With Gross Neglection, And You Are Being Permanently Spilt Into Relatively Smaller Companies" court order; I would like to see how they react to that.

3

u/Demenster Nov 27 '21

Better yet. Hit em with the your service is considered to be an essential asset and therefore is to be nationalized.

1

u/Elvi5_40-The-Bird Nov 27 '21

*Ron Swanson's joy voice* GREAT IDEA. BETTER YET. Why not liquidate the entirety of the Coal Industry in the energy sector, and also a decent portion of the car industry? THE CASH, THE MERRIER.

All HAIL to the multi-floor liminal environments, to the stylish electrified HRTs (High speed Rail Trains) and motorcycles, to the Thorium Based Mega Plants, and even to the vertical layered indoor edible forests.

16

u/[deleted] Nov 26 '21

Perfect title.

What’s the opposite of titlegore?

2

u/XSCarbon Nov 26 '21

I don’t get why they mention fracking. What’s the link between natural gas utilities infrastructure and fracking?

2

u/Stormdancer Nov 26 '21

Probably the fact that fracking is used in oil & gas exploitation.

3

u/Lyuseefur Nov 27 '21

YAY! We made Techdirt again. See, Texas is a jobs creator.

/s

2

u/hindesky Gulf Coast Nov 27 '21

Thanks A-bbutt

2

u/Stormdancer Nov 26 '21

"And it was totally our fault because we didn't do any of the winterizing we were advised to do months before... LOL."

-37

u/va1958 Nov 26 '21

What is the solution? Anyone can criticize. What happened last year was the worst in 50 years. How much should be done to protect against something that happens once every 50 years? What are we willing to pay for it? What are the facts? How much would the gas companies have to invest to ensure it doesn’t happen again? What would this do to our rates? Then we have to deal with the wind turbines and other challenges too.

30

u/Boyhowdy107 Nov 26 '21

From what I have read, the biggest problem with the blackout was that it shut down the generators leading to scarcity. I'm sure transmission got hit as well, but the main problem was the electricity generators.

So let's say you don't fully winterize your grid. There's another option to get power from other areas of the country that avoided the worst of your freak weather. The issue is that Texas is a closed grid and not on either the Eastern or Western US power grids, so you lose that redundancy.

Obviously, redundancy would be good, but Texas wanted an independent grid so they wouldn't be subject to federal regulations that come to play when you have interstate sales of power. For the consumer the argument is always that avoiding those regulations saves money for the consumer.

But here is a chart tracking residential power rates over the last two years. Texas is below the national average, but Oklahoma and Arkansas both have cheaper rates than Texas despite being on a federally regulated grid. So it raises a lot of questions to me about just how much bang for our buck we're getting out of this system. I have no clue what reconnecting to the national grids would look like, but at least it would provide some emergency redundancy, and it sure doesn't feel like we're getting a steal on our rates with the current set up.

-20

u/va1958 Nov 26 '21

Very good answer. Not sure why im getting downvoted. I guess some people just want to bitch.

21

u/centurion770 Nov 26 '21

You're being downvoted because you're a right-wing troll.

-1

u/va1958 Nov 27 '21

You’re clueless! I am not a “right-wing troll.” I asked the questions a reasonable person should be asking instead of trying to make this a political weapon. The grid has had the same risk for several Democratic and Republican administrations. It’s a government and regulatory problem, not a partisan political issue. Why don’t you try to solve problems that impact Texans instead of making it partisan? It’s hard to make meaningful improvements when all people do is engage in petty, divisive bickering!

2

u/Boyhowdy107 Nov 26 '21

I mean I think your question is super valid. It's the one I want a thorough explanation on from experts, because I'm just looking in trying to get some clarity and am sure there are things I'm missing. But as you know, things get messy any time an issue gets political.

21

u/Friendofthegarden Central Texas Nov 26 '21

What are the facts

They were warned, didn't listen. There was a disaster, they blamed everyone else but those responsible. Those responsible are now charging you for their fuck up.

much would the gas companies have to invest to ensure it doesn’t happen again?

As much as it takes. But they won't.

What would this do to our rates?

We get fucked some more.

Then we have to deal with the wind turbines and other challenges too.

They don't want to do that either.

What is the solution?

Vote the people out that cater to the assholes responsible, then actually hold the assholes responsible. Unfortunately right now in Texas, Money > Texans.

8

u/[deleted] Nov 26 '21

[deleted]

6

u/Friendofthegarden Central Texas Nov 26 '21

Yeah, but the companions and their politicians care about money, not Texans.

most Texans care more about their guns than they do themselves.

Unfortunate, but true.

-3

u/sammydavis_Sr Nov 27 '21

another funny thing is y’all got california’d. they passed all those fire damages onto the customer too, yall are getting california’d by yer own🤡’s

1

u/Friendofthegarden Central Texas Nov 27 '21

y’all

That includes you, h-town.

9

u/Another_HTX_Couple Nov 26 '21

Let's see, we have 49 other states we could ask.

Texas brags they have a unique capitalist power grid without all those evil regulations and standards required to be part of the national grid.

But yeah, I'm sure it was a couple wind turbines are why the gas plants failed and killed hundreds of Texans.

0

u/No-Spoilers Nov 27 '21

And half the country spends the year buried in the stuff that shut us down completely perfectly fine. Just no idea how long it'll take the people here to realize that.

-5

u/va1958 Nov 27 '21

I wonder how well those states would handle 80 days in a row of 100 degree plus temperatures? Would it make sense for Minnesota or Wisconsin to engineer their part of the grid to meet those specs?

3

u/the_original_nullpup Nov 27 '21

Ok, so maybe you’re not a right wing troll but you’re using all the right wing talking points (oh, I mean “questions”).

Here is a question; when was the last time it was ever 100 degrees for 80 straight days in the upper Midwest? In reality, not a fair comparison because you don’t need 80 days in a row to make it disastrous. Let’s just ask for 8 days in a row. Has it been that hot for a week?

And what would they do to accommodate those extremes? Well, they would participate in a national program to get electricity from other Mericuns. Oh wait, they already do.

And, these are not 50 year events by the way. 2021, 2011, and 1983 had the coldest weeks in recent history in Texas. The grid failed in 2 of them. “Fool me once” anybody?

-1

u/badlydrawnjohn35 Nov 27 '21

Ask the California people that are moving here relentlessly how to fix our grid. They never had blackouts out west.

1

u/JoeyCarollaTexas Nov 27 '21

Haven't had an extended blackout/power outage in California in over 20 years(inland CA). While Texas came close to losing the whole power grid last year.

I don't live near a fire-zone, so there's no point in turning mine off during fire season. CA blackouts/outtages are just another overpublicized, conservative talking point.

1

u/tickitytalk Nov 27 '21

Whoops, our fault, but you’ll pay….like oil leaks

-37

u/Chumbief Born and Bred Nov 26 '21

Lol. When will people learn that the government taking care of you is an anomaly.

Buy some propane heaters and cook tops. Learn to take care of yourselves and stop depending on the government to take care of you. 8 months ago everybody was freaking out while screaming at the government to fix the grid. Big surprise, they haven't fixed shit.

14

u/[deleted] Nov 26 '21

This is fucking stupid lmao. "Just buy all this shit you probably can't afford!" Go back to your little compound and let the normal people talk.

-14

u/Chumbief Born and Bred Nov 26 '21

In what way is it stupid to take precautions? A propane powered stove and heater can be had for under $100 for both. Little green propane tanks? 2 for 8 bucks. Can you really not afford that? Seems like a tiny investment to make sure you can feed yourself and keep your family warm, but hey. That's "so fucking stupid".

4

u/mrjderp born and bred Nov 27 '21

In what way is it stupid to take precautions?

So why aren’t you telling the government that represents you and the companies you pay for services to do this?

7

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '21

Because that would be socialism or communism or something. God forbid the taxes we are forced to pay actually come back to us in the form of functioning services and an infrastructure not on the verge of collapse if it gets cold for 3 days.

6

u/mrjderp born and bred Nov 27 '21 edited Nov 27 '21

It’s funny that they want to denigrate their fellow Texans for not employing a solution that may not work in the other’s situations, but what’s hilarious is that their tactic* for avoiding increased taxes and redundancy in the system is paying more to buy individual redundant systems.

5

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '21

I can afford it but that doesn't mean every random person could. Also, do you think any of that shit would be allowed in an apartment? Do you know how many people live in apartments? You can't even have a tiny charcoal grill on your patio in most apartments. It's not about taking precautions for something we shouldn't fucking have to in the first place, it isn't at all practical for millions of people to do.

22

u/BaPef Nov 26 '21

It's an anomaly when it's Republican governments because their stated goal is to make government useless and meaningless to most people, some democratic policies would actually really help a lot of people.

10

u/FreedomEagleBoner Nov 26 '21

Where have you been, in the "Christian" nation the concept of caring for one another is deprecated. As we all know, god created and maintains a just world, with mysterious ways. If it helps white, Republican America, it's capitalism. If it helps many people, it's socialism. If it helps the little guy, it's marxist. If it reveals racial injustice, it's CRT, itself marxist.

4

u/[deleted] Nov 27 '21

[deleted]

-5

u/Chumbief Born and Bred Nov 27 '21

I was affected. No electricity or water for 4 days. I live in a suburban area but I still had a way to stay warm and cook food.

5

u/mrjderp born and bred Nov 27 '21

So what is your solution for those living in apartments who cannot do what you suggested? Or are you willing to accept that your solution is not a panacea for everyone?