Texas got close to the brink this week, as bad weather, inadequate preparation and weak leadership left millions without electricity and water, endangered in a prosperous state that ought to know better.

The toll has been awful. At one point, more than 4 million households were without power, and as many as 13 million people were in places Thursday afternoon where tap water, if it was even available, wasn’t safe until it was boiled for two minutes. Unlike a summer peak in energy demand, electrical generators were competing for natural gas with regular folks, many of whom use gas to heat their homes. And the public health effect — the number of people hurt, sickened or killed by the storm, hasn’t been measured.

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune. Contact him at rramsey@texastribune.org.

Recommended for you

(8) entries


We have lost 4-5 huge coal fired plants due to Obama administration’s unachievable emissions dervishes from an unproven study from Canada

Michael Morris Staff
Michael Morris

According to the Energy Information Administration, five coal-fired plants in Texas have shut down in the last 20 years, all under the Trump Administration. Four were in 2018, one last year.

Michael Morris Staff
Michael Morris

The declaration Biden signed late Friday covers much of the Texas population, including Dallas and neighboring counties, and the counties that include Houston, San Antonio and Austin. The assistance can include grants for temporary housing, home repairs, and low-cost loans.

The White House has left open the possibility of further designations, and state officials said Saturday they will gather data from the counties omitted from the initial declaration to support the state’s request.

Father of Six

Goodness gracious you are an embarrassment of an editor. Should I start editing your entire paper for you? There are more grammatical and spelling errors in your paper than my 13 year olds school work.


Green energy failed us. New Green Deal, no thanks.


Why did Biden only give disaster relief to 77 counties??


So what’s your pint Michael. Dang you sure cover for dems. Many Texans are asking demanding Biden declare more like President past


Also his decree on emissions didn’t help

Michael Morris Staff
Michael Morris

You asked a question. I answered it. Nothing more. FEMA approved 31 more counties today after they provided documentation that they sustained sufficient damage to qualify. Standard procedure for FEMA designation regardless of party.

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.