While most states regulate their power grid and connect into the U.S. grid, states such as Texas have suffered catastrophic consequences in the name of deregulation, which which caused many in the state to suffer physical and financial hardship.
Ohio has done well to ensure residents have reliable power in the event of a bad storm. Ohio Consumers’ Counsel Senior Outreach and Education Program Specialist Andrew Tinkham appeared on America’s Work Force Union Podcast and explained why Texans suffered following the storm. He also discussed Ohio’s energy sectors and the current happenings within it.
Why blackouts happened in Texas, but nowhere else
Tinkham said he sympathizes with the people of Texas who suffered hardship or lost loved ones due to the winter storm that knocked out power across the state. While it was not their fault, there are people who are responsible for the lack of power.
The utilities in Texas have been deregulated and much of the state operates separate from the U.S. grid. Due to an unprecedented winter storm, the regional grid was unable to meet the demand for power and failed.
Tinkham said this does not happen in places like Ohio because the state is connected to the nation’s power grid. Since Ohio regulates its utilities, they are more affordable, especially when consumers when need them the most. In Texas, after the storms consumers were charged ridiculous amounts, which forced some into financial hardship.
Energy in Ohio
Ohio’s energy sector took a hit over the past two years once it was revealed Ohio House Bill 6 was surrounded by scandal. A FBI investigation revealed several legislators were allegedly involved in a bribery scheme to get bill passed to prevent the efforts to recall the legislation.
Tinkham later said the Ohio Consumers’ Council worked hard throughout the pandemic to ensure American Electric Power did not raise rates on residents. He said it was important Ohioans did not face increased rates during a once in a century pandemic, where everyone was affected and many lost their jobs.