American Consequences - March 2021

inevitably, it’s going to court disaster. And he ultimately frames the failures from on high, not as some sexy Chinatown corruption or Watergate-esque scandal, but as a mess of grossly overpaid, incompetent bureaucrats who never thought this would happen. EVERGREEN? When it comes to fossil fuel versus renewable energy vis-à-vis this crisis, you’d expect a grizzled Texas oilman to scoff at the latter – to chew up AOC’s proposed Green New Deal and spit it out. But he’s more amenable than that. “You know, when the storm hit, wind went from supplying 42% of the electricity to less than 8%. Solar went from 4% to nothing . Suddenly, gas and coal and nuclear had to put everything on its shoulders and get after it. Gas had a little bit of a problem because its plants shut down. But coal and nuclear,

most of them, but it’s still going to fall on him. So this whole thing is going to be redone. That deck is going to be reshuffled.” It became clear Cactus not only has a nose for oil... He also senses bullshit. “And the other thing – I started looking at the resumés of all these people. Out of the three at PUC and 15 on ERCOT’s board, how many electrical engineers do you think they had?” I guessed zero. The correct answer? Two . “Now, the next most critical background would be petroleum engineering and petroleum geologist — zero of those. Out of all those members, only two had technical knowledge.” This lack of relevant expertise at ERCOT agitates Cactus’ sensibilities. He purports that if you fill a science-driven board with attorneys, accountants, and PR comms, then

Texas residents took unthinkable measures to stay warm while state power lines sat as useless and idle as the government’s response. Though the snowwas scant, the damage proved incalculable.

American Consequences


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