Bill Gates said Saturday that some of the deaths from the severe winter weather that hit Texas could have been prevented by air conditioning power plants.
In an interview on saturday night With CNN’s Anderson Cooper, the billionaire philanthropist argued that natural gas plants in Texas have not been built to withstand extreme weather, leading to millions of people across the state losing energy and battling freezing temperatures.
As of Saturday, about 70 people have died in Texas and other states that have been affected by winter frosts, including victims of car accidents, carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, home fires and hypothermia, according to The Associated Press.
Abbott has faced criticism for claiming that the the outages occurred with renewable energy sources, although officials from the Texas Electrical Reliability Council has said that problems with various sources, particularly natural gas, have contributed to the problem.
“Our wind power and our solar power went out, and collectively they made up more than 10 percent of our electrical grid, and that pushed Texas into a state of power shortage,” Abbott said. said earlier in the week during an interview with Fox News’ Sean HannitySean Patrick HannityTucker Carlson to produce video podcasts for Fox Nation Trump to appear on conservative networks after Limbaugh’s death Fox News goes with wall-to-wall coverage of Limbaugh’s death MORE.
Gates, an advocate for green energy, rejected the claim.
“This is not due to dependency on renewable,” Gates told Cooper on Saturday. “These are natural gas plants, to a large extent, that were not heated. They could have been.”
“It costs money, and the exchange was made, and it did not work, and it is tragic that it has caused the death of people,” he added.
Gates went on to say that climate change could be considered the main cause of extreme weather events, adding that increased reliance on renewable energy could prevent future winter storm-like disasters.
“It’s ironic to blame renewables and not realize that we’re going to have to deal with this unless we get everyone to cut emissions,” Gates said.
Critics have condemned Abbott and Texas’ overall readiness for the winter storm, with five Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. writing in a letter to the Republican governor on Friday.
“TThis week’s events demonstrate that there are significant gaps in preparations and more must be done to protect communities disproportionately affected by power outages during the winter, ”they wrote.
The letter was written in response to a report from the Federal Power Regulatory Commission and the Electric Reliability Corporation of North America that said electricity generating companies “did not prepare adequately for winter,” specifically citing inadequate insulation and a failure to train operators and maintenance personnel on winter preparations.