Nearly half a million people in Texas have remained without power — following the severe winter storm that hit the state. The U.S. second largest state by area and population is facing an increased death toll as people are freezing to death.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) was held accountable by Texans — who were unable to find food or clean drinking water amid the unprecedented frigid conditions. The Austin based corporation manages electricity for over 90% of Texans, a total of 25 million people. Nevertheless, according to State civilians ERCOT didn’t prepare any back-up strategy although they knew that the snow storm was coming their way.
As of this writing, New York reported that the disaster resulted in over 30 deaths including 10 hypothermia deaths because of cold. Furthermore, according to the Guardian, an 11 year old froze to death after his family couldn’t provide any heat. Meanwhile, the officials in Harris County counted over 600 carbon monoxide poisoning cases.
Texas disaster was preventable says Bill Gates
In an interview with CNBC, billionaire and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates said that deaths during the Texas frigid were preventable.
“This is not because of renewable dependency. This is natural gas plants, largely, that weren’t weatherized. They could’ve been. It costs money, and the trade off was made, and it didn’t work out, and it’s tragic that its lead to people dying.” Gates told CNBC.
Bill gates added that climate change is the biggest reason behind the freezing conditions in Texas, and that green energy should replace the current system. He argued that shifting to green energy can prevent any disasters in the future across the whole world.
“It is ironic to blame renewables and not realize that were going to have to be dealing with this unless we get the whole world to reduce omissions,” Gates added.
Wednesday’s power outage had hit over 3 million homes, and although the 2.5 million homes restored electricity, Texans still have no clean drinking water.