Some Texans are seeing electrical bills in the thousands of dollars following the recent winter storm.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) claimed that people are "fleeing" to Texas from blue states because of the cheap energy prices, days after his state's energy grid failed. He said this even though, as a result of that failure, many of his constituents saw gargantuan electricity bills last week.
On Fox News, Cruz was asked about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer's warning that climate change was fueling problems like those seen in Texas over the past week — where deadly snow and ice storms left millions with no heat or power for days.
The Republican senator responded by bragging that his largely unregulated state is cheap to live in.
"Texas has some of the lowest energy prices in the country. The cost of living is affordable. There's a reason people are fleeing the state of New York," he claimed. "There's a reason people are fleeing the state of California, because the cost of living is so high that working men and women can't afford to be there. Whereas in Texas the cost of living is much much lower."
But in recent days, many Texans have seen their energy bills skyrocket. While some people have fixed rates for their electricity, others opt to pay a variable rate based on "scarcity of product." As the state's electrical grid struggled due to the storms, many of those were billed thousands of dollars for just a few days of energy.
"Here I am with the newborn and I'm just, like, I can't afford this," Elizabeth Dietz, a customer whose power bill spiked to more than $4,000, told a Houston news outlet. "I'm a single mother, disabled veteran. I just I can't."
Cruz then falsely blamed the problems on policies like the Green New Deal — a set of climate proposals that has not become law — and freezing wind turbines.
"You look at Texas right now, about 25% of our energy capacity is wind. And yet in the middle of this storm, that capacity dropped all the way down to 2%," Cruz complained.
In reality, most of the problem last week stemmed from fossil fuels. "It appears that a lot of the generation that has gone offline today has been primarily due to issues on the natural gas system," a spokesperson for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas told a local newspaper last Tuesday.
While few New Yorkers or Californians likely were fleeing to Texas during the days of rolling blackouts and heatless homes, Cruz did make national news for fleeing to the Ritz-Carlton resort in Cancun, Mexico. He blamed this controversial vacation in the same interview on the media not having Donald Trump to cover anymore.
Cruz concluded that he's confident Texas will make sure this doesn't happen again but said it will not be "by doubling the cost of people's electricity bills."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.