Harris Faulkner helped Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick promote the “blame green energy” lie about Texas’ power catastrophe, then let him grandstand about relief for Texans his with gigantic energy bills, and pretended he had not left out almost all the details.
As The Texas Tribune explained, some Texans on variable rate contracts were hit with immediate, massive price spikes as a result of the freeze that knocked out power. “Lawmakers and the governor have promised to help, but haven't said how.”
Patrick repeated the detail-free promise on Fox News today. But first, there was some dishonest propagandizing to do.
Faulkner and Patrick pushed the “blame green energy” lie for the Texas power catastrophe
Without noting that green energy had almost nothing to do with the crisis, Faulkner introduced the discussion by disingenuously reading from a Wall Street Journal editorial: “Progressives want to make Americans even more dependent on the grid by banning gas hookups in homes and mandating electric cars. This is a recipe for blackouts nationwide as coal and nuclear plants retire because they can’t compete against subsidized renewables.”
“Let’s start with renewables,” Faulkner said. Meaning, of course, “Let’s start with attacks on green energy.”
Sure enough, Patrick complied. He claimed that the “issue about renewables and reliables is very clear to America and to Texas that you cannot count on renewables, wind or solar.”
FACT CHECK: Most of the failures in the Texas power outage were facilities run by gas, coal or nuclear energy.
“What got our power back was natural gas, nuke and clean-burning coal,” Patrick added. Yeah, that got the power back because that’s where the power went out.
Patrick continued misleading by saying, “We lost about half of our renewables going into this storm,” thereby dishonestly suggesting that caused the outages.
Faulkner never questioned what percentage of power that represented nor whether those energy sources could be better winterized.
We also got the knee-jerk attack on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “And when I hear AOC, that Texas should have had two, three times all renewables, we would still be without power,” Patrick continued. Then he corrected himself. “We’d be up a little bit but you cannot count on the wind and sun.”
Well, obviously, you can’t count on gas, coal and nuclear either in Texas. But Faulkner let that go unremarked, too.
Patrick’s big brag of support for Texans: his subpoena power
Clearly, Patrick was there to make a show that he plans to help struggling Texans. But other than not disconnecting any power, he had no concrete plan for those who saw giant chunks of their bank accounts automatically deducted.
By the way, “Suicide Dan” said nothing about the ways he’s been risking his life for the economy, as he urged others to do, in previous Fox appearances, nor did he say a word about having done anything to help Texans whose lives were actually endangered in the freeze. Not surprisingly, Faulkner did not ask.
PATRICK: I saw the story about the high bills. Let me explain that. We have in Texas you can choose your energy plan. And most people have a fixed rate. If they had a fixed rate per kilowatt hour, their rates aren’t going up. Now, their bill may be up because they used more energy because they had the heat up when they got the power back but the people who are getting those big bills are people who gambled on a very, very low rate and it would go up with the power. But I’ve told those folks, do not panic. We are going to figure that out. But going forward, people need to read the fine print in those kind of bills and we may even end that type of variable plan because people were surprised.
The bottom line, Harris, is, I’m president of the Senate. No bill comes to the floor unless I approve of it. We’re gonna get to the bottom of this, find out what the hell happened and we’re gonna fix it once and for all.
Gee, it might have been nice if you had fixed it before people lost their savings.
But with Republicans these days, it’s always someone else’s fault.
PATRICK: We were told by ERCOT that they were ready, they were obviously not ready. We’re gonna go everywhere we need to go to get the evidence – and that includes something, Harris, that we seldom do, and that is use subpoena power. If we have witnesses we believe need to come to the table, and they will not come and testify, then we have the opportunity to issue a subpoena to compel them.
He boasted, “I’m personally taking this on my back as the president of the senate.” In other words, he’s trying to get credit for fixing a situation that never should have happened on his watch in the first place.
“No nonsense, no excuses,” Patrick said, laughably.
Faulkner swallowed that, too. Ignoring the lack of specificity, other than subpoenas, she effused, “I can tell you, as people are watching this, just hearing you say, you know, going forward you need to know what to do with your bill but for right now you are gonna help them through. Because some people are getting, like, $17,000 bills. So that’s gotta be really good. Thank you for explaining all that.”
“We’re gonna fix it, we’re gonna fix it and they shouldn’t panic. And we put out no disconnect notices during this time,” Patrick said.
Then the two moved on to attack President Joe Biden’s immigration policy and to boast about how great the child detention facilities are. I’ll have more about that in my next post.
Meanwhile, watch Patrick get a pass for saying a lot about very little, below, from the February 24, 2021 The Faulkner Focus.