Ex-Shell Oil president on Texas winter storm: ‘We’re living in a third world situation’
Former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister, who lives in Houston, says he has been without power since Monday morning following the ‘brutal’ winter storm in Texas.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday slammed the Texas agency responsible for a statewide blackout that has left millions of people to fend for themselves in a freezing cold winter storm.
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Musk tweeted that Texas’ power grid manager, the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), is not earning the “R” in the acronym.
Musk moved to Texas from California in December and is building a new Tesla factory in Austin. His critique of the state’s electrical grid operator came after multiple Tesla owners in the state said they had slept in their vehicles to keep warm amid the lingering power outage.
In 2019, Tesla released a vehicle with a “Camp Mode,” which enables owners to use the vehicle’s features – like lights and climate control – without significantly depleting the battery.
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“We had the power go out for 6 hours last night. Our house does not have gas, and we ran out of firewood… what are we going to do,” one Reddit user wrote on “r/TeslaMotors.”
“So my wife my dog and my newborn daughter slept in the garage in our Model3 all nice and cozy. If I didn't have this car, it would have been a very rough night.”
More than two dozen people have died in the extreme weather this week, some while struggling to find warmth inside their homes. In the Houston area, one family succumbed to carbon monoxide from car exhaust in their garage. Another perished as they used a fireplace to keep warm.
Utilities from Minnesota to Texas and Mississippi have implemented rolling blackouts to ease the burden on power grids straining to meet extreme demand for heat and electricity.
More than 3 million customers remained without power in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, more than 200,000 more in four Appalachian states, and nearly that many in the Pacific Northwest, according to poweroutage.us, which tracks utility outage reports.