Biden’s team colluded with Iran to undermine Trump’s policies

The Guardian

Republicans seek federal funding to help pay exorbitant Texans energy bills

State Power Grid Failed to Freeze Reports from companies seeking to cash in on Texas freeze show rich use climate change to divide us A Democratic senator is calling for federal investigations into potential natural gas price spikes after the storms plunged Texas and other states into a freeze. Photo: Brett Coomer / AP Texas Republicans will use federal funds to help pay the exorbitant energy bills plaguing ordinary Texans after a freeze paralyzed the state this week, a senior congressman said Sunday. Millions of people suffered blackouts as cold weather overwhelmed an unprepared state network, by design independent of federal oversight. The blackouts contributed to dozens of deaths and a crisis over safe access to water that continued as temperatures rose. On Saturday, Joe Biden declared a major disaster and released funds to help. On Sunday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told ABC’s This Week program that the president was “eager to go to Texas and show his support” but would be careful not to interrupt the relief. Reports have proliferated that some Texans whose power was left now face huge bills as private companies seek to capitalize. The New York Times reported a case in which a 63-year-old military veteran living on social security in suburban Dallas faced an electric bill of nearly $ 17,000, 70 times what he would normally pay for all utilities combined. “There is nothing I can do about it,” Scott Willoughby told the newspaper, “but it has broken me.” Texas Republican Michael McCaul, former chairman of the House national security committee, spoke with CNN’s State of the Union. “The current plans with the federal assistance bill are to help homeowners repair, because we have a lot of water leaks, a lot of water damage, burst pipes, but also [pay] their electricity bills too, ”he said. Presenter Dana Bash challenged him by saying, “I hear you say that the federal government is going to help rescue and pay the bills in a state that is partly in this mess because it wants to be separated from the federal government.” Government. That’s kind of nice, don’t you think? McCaul sidestepped the question, saying that instead, Texas needed to prepare for more extreme weather events. The freeze, he said, was “just a preview of what can be expected if the United States does not face the climate crisis head-on.” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CBS’s Face the Nation: “The bill should go to the state of Texas. When [people are] getting these exorbitant electricity bills and they have to pay their houses, repair their houses, they shouldn’t have to take responsibility. Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said both the state and federal governments should help. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called an emergency meeting of state lawmakers to discuss the problem and said in a statement that they had a responsibility to ensure that Texans “don’t get caught up with skyrocketing energy bills.” On Sunday he announced measures to protect energy consumers. The disaster declaration issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency applied to 77 of the 254 counties in Texas, prompting Abbott to say it should cover the entire state. Psaki said: “What happens here is that the governor requested a federal disaster declaration. The president asked his team to speed it up. And Fema determined where … it should focus immediate resources, where the most affected counties so they can make sure they reach those most in need. “That means not just helping people get through this emergency, but getting people through recovery, people who don’t have water, they don’t have heat, they need a place to stay for a while, that’s what that A major disaster declaration will help address, or that’s our hope. “McCaul was asked about the widely ridiculed claim by former Texas Governor and US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry that” Texans would be without power for more than three days to keep the federal government out of its business. ”McCaul said,“ Power sharing would have been useful if we could have shared it with other power grids. ”That couldn’t happen, he said, because the Texas grid“ was established … to be independent of federal oversight and regulations. That’s great with things like cybersecurity, not so great when it comes to an Arctic explosion like this. “In 2011, the state legislature, after we had a really bad freeze, put out a bipartisan report with recommendations for energy companies on how to winterize our operations. ” Those recommendations were not followed. “So when it happened, our entire energy system was not winterized for freezing temperatures,” McCaul said. “That is what we are going to analyze, these recommendations that were made in 2011.” McCaul was also asked about the efforts of prominent Democrats, including Beto O’Rourke and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the first from El Paso but the last from New York, to help ordinary Texans. Such actions contrasted with the behavior of Republicans, including Senator Ted Cruz, who traveled to Mexico with his family instead of staying at his Houston home, a move for which he was ridiculed. “I think we also need to help,” McCaul said, “and we will do that with the federal emergency declaration that we received from the president. But I think it’s great that they are crossing party lines to help Americans first and not just Republicans or Democrats. “… I know that some are taking heat. Like, when a crisis hits my state, I’m there. I’m not going on vacation. I know that Mr. Cruz calls it a mistake and acknowledges it. But I think it was a big mistake. “Cruz must recover from his own political goal. In a tweet on Sunday, he said profiting from the freeze was wrong.” No power company should make windfall profits due to a natural disaster, “he said. , “And Texans shouldn’t be hit by ridiculous rate increases from last week’s energy debacle. State and local regulators must act quickly to prevent this injustice.”

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