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What Caused The Texas Energy Crisis?

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Questions arise regarding the failure of the Texas power grid as the state continues to recover from a historic winter storm.

The Current Texas Crisis

New reports from the Texas Tribune on Friday suggest that the state was “Seconds and minutes” away from a “catastrophic” blackout that could have lasted months if grid operators did not take action to stop a massive drop in energy supply.

Unseasonably cold temperatures knocked natural gas and coal plants offline as well as froze wind turbines. As a result, operators had to resort to rolling blackouts to stop the surge in demand from overwhelming its circuits.

Several factors have been blamed for the sudden and severe energy crisis, with fossil-fuel proponents blaming frozen wind turbines and other alternative energy that was frozen over, BBC suggested. Others such as the New York Times have blamed natural gas pipes freezing and pointing responsibility on to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

However, there has been one component of the U.S. power grid that has not been looked into: The equipment itself.

China And The Electrical Grid

An April 2014 report from the Department of Energy found that there were only six domestic manufacturers of power equipment in the United States, while China had 30 manufacturers.

Several Chinese-based companies, such as HICO and Siemens, have plants that export transformers to several countries. The report further suggested that the actual production of U.S.-built transformers was less than a fifth of China’s production.

The report showed that the U.S. has become dependent on foreign-made transformers to maintain capability of the power grid.

“In 2010, only 15 percent of the Nation’s demand for power transformers…was met through domestic production,” the report concluded.

In 2019, deputy director of counterintelligence at the DOE said that “There have been over 200 Chinese transformers that have come into the U.S. energy sector in the last ten years,” according to RealClearEnergy, highlighting the country’s dependence on energy.

One of the companies who makes these transformers, JiangSu HuaPeng Transformer Co., recently finished projects in Houston. The city was among the hardest hit in the recent energy crisis.

Trump’s Executive Order

On May 1, 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order that essentially made the U.S> power grid “America First” by allowing the Secretaries of Defense, Interior and Homeland Security along with the Director of National intelligence to identify equipment that was designed and owned by foreign jurisdictions, including China.

The E.O. aimed to prevent future transactions regarding the supplementation or manufacturing of any equipment that under “foreign adversary control.”

“The transaction…poses and undue risk of sabotage to or subversion of the design, integrity…or manufacturing of the bulk-power system in the United States.” The E.O. read in part.

The order would allow the appropriate departments to “identify” the equipment and “isolate or monitor” their behavior. A task force also formed to focus on vulnerabilities and procurement of the power system of the U.S.

The order may have stemmed from a report regarding the “Electric Panda” hacking group. POLITICO reported that the group had targeted 40 U.S. contracting facilities that specialize in numerous fields.

The U.S. energy secretary at the time also prohibited utilities that supply facilities from importing items from China. Secretary Dan Brouillette said that it was “imperative” the power system was secure from attacks and exploitation.

Biden Reverses Course

On President Joe Biden’s first day in office, he issued an executive order seeking to address the Keystone XL pipeline. In the bottom part of the order, the action also suspended Trump’s order for 90 days to consider if a replacement should be issued.

The provision reportedly allows China to continue exporting transformers to the United States without any issues. It also comes on the heels of reports that Chinese hackers used the SolarWinds bug to spy on U.S. payrolls.

The order remains suspended until April, when the order will be replaced or expire. It is not clear what the Biden administration will replace the order with, if at all.

Before the winter storm, Biden approved an emergency declaration for Texas in the event of the worst. However, Biden’s response to the power outages has been slow, with new authorizations only coming yesterday regarding deliveries of supplies.

What Happens Next?

The situation in Texas, albeit caused mainly by unprecedented weather conditions, could have been mitigated significantly. The use of Chinese-built transformers may have had a role in exactly why the power grid catastrophically failed.

Although it’s unlikely a cyberattack may have caused the grid to undergo immense stress, the use of such technology should be of concern. The vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid are now on display in the south and should not go unnoticed.

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Covid

Give Me Liberty or Give Me The Vaccine

It is fair for the American population to wait to understand where Covid19 began before making health choices about their own health.

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Patrick Henry Speaking About Freedom

The American history books once taught of a patriot named Patrick Henry. Patrick Henry was a founding father of American. Yes, the term founding father is a term that Google still finds worthy as they identify Henry as one. Patrick Henry was a man who stood up to the oppression of King George. In the second Virginia Convention in 1775, he proclaimed, “give me liberty or give me death.”

In days past, Patrick Henry was a symbol of the American spirit of freedom. His passion and his ability to communicate his desire for freedom are powerful words that continue to motivate bold and courageous leaders for the last 200 years.

Today it would be wise for patriot Americans who value freedom to pick up this sentiment again. The call that freedom is the most essential component of existence which brings life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Vaccine Manipulation:

President Joe Biden now declares that Americans who do not take the Covid19 vaccine are “not as smart as he thought they were” and that they (American citizens) are “a real problem.”

Many Americans believe in the vaccine, but they believe more in freedom. Donald Trump, the leader of the Republic Party, has also encouraged people to get the vaccine. The vaccine is not a Republican or Democrat issue, but how the vaccine is administered very much speaks to how the political leaders look at freedom.

Free Americans should believe that the Government should not be able to dictate the health decisions that an individual should make. They believe that they should have the ability to review facts and data and not be forced to decide on their health based on strawman arguments like you “if you care for your pet, you should get vaccinated.”

Maybe instead of shaming people or trying to bribe people into getting the vaccine, lawmakers should convince people on the merit of the issue and allow them to exercise their freedom to make the best choice for themselves and their country; after all, that is what freedom is about. Maybe President Biden could try to solve the real problem in the vaccine issue. He could do that by answering the questions that many Americans are still looking for as they analyze their decision about their own health. Answering any or all of the following questions would be a start:

Vaccine Questions About Covid19:

 1.  What are the top 3 risks that a person might experience with the Covid19 vaccine? Instead of answering this simple question, those that are in charge get offended when people seek good answers to health. It has been the history in America to outline the potential health hazards to people’s choices, such as a warning on a pack of cigarettes. But this concept seems foreign to those that would like to manipulate the public to make a decision without a choice – that just seems wrong.

2.  Why does everyone need the vaccine, including those that already have had Covid19? This is an honest question and one that Senator Rand Paul has asked. There may be a case to be made for those who have had Covid19 to receive the vaccine, but it seems like no logical or rational person is making one.

3.  Is there anyone who should not get the Covid19 vaccines? Health issues are very personal issues and often are different for people with different issues and demographics. There has been minimal talk in mainstream media about exceptions to the vaccine and more and more talk about how even babies should be getting the vaccine.  John Hopkins recently misled their readers with a statement on their website about children getting the vaccine –

“Yes. Experts, including those at Johns Hopkins, believe that the benefits of being vaccinated for COVID-19 outweigh the risks. Although COVID-19 in children is usually milder than in adults, some kids can get very sick and have complications or long-lasting symptoms that affect their health and well-being. The virus can cause death in children, although this is rarer than for adults.”  

Further, the CDC is now recommending the pregnant women, and new mothers who are breastfeeding should receive the vaccine. They state on the website, 

“Pregnant and recently pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from COVID-19.”

These kinds of one-sided statements should be carefully read to consider the political biases of the organization. One has to wonder if they are really concerned about the health of the individual or the health of the whole. I would be very hesitant to recommend a trial vaccine to a pregnant woman when there have not been studies to show that no impact will be made on the mother of the child.

4.  Where did Covid19 originate? An essential question in the vaccine conversation should be a consideration as to where Covid originated. If Covid19 originated in a lab as a way to kill off a part of the communist elderly in China, then that would dedicate who needs the vaccine.  

The idea that a communist country was developing a method to kill off part of its population for population control should be considered and explored. American politicians on the left seem to forget that just a few years ago, communist China limited the number of babies that their people could have and would kill a child if it was born and was above the number that the Government dictated as acceptable. It is fair for the American population to wait to understand where Covid19 began before making health choices about their own health.

These questions and many more still deserve an answer. It is the responsibility of the leaders and press in a free country to answer the fair and honest questions of free people. Until those questions, millions of Americans will still cry out, “give me liberty, or give me the vaccine.” These Americans still choose freedom first.

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Elections

EXCLUSIVE: Arizona Senator Gives Audit Update

Update from AZ Senator JD Mesnard

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Former Speaker of the Arizona House and current Arizona State Senator JD Mesnard gives his update and analysis of the ongoing Arizona audit saga. Check out the video below:

About JD Mesnard:

J.D. Mesnard is a state senator in the Arizona Senate, serving Legislative District 17 (Chandler, Gilbert, and Sun Lakes). He was elected to the Senate on November 6, 2018, after serving eight years in the Arizona House of Representatives, including as Speaker of the House during his final term.

J.D. is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelors degree in Music Composition. He also holds two masters degrees, one in Business and the other in Public Administration—exemplifying his interest in both the public and private sectors. Prior to running for office, J.D. spent eight years working at the Arizona Senate where he served as a policy advisor on issues ranging from education, transportation and retirement, to family services and government administration. He is a small business owner, investor and consultant, and has always sought to be an active participant at all levels of the community. He works with charities, churches and non-profits, and is adjunct faculty at Mesa Community College and Arizona State University, where he teaches political science courses. He has been teaching for 14 years.

J.D.’s compassion for those less fortunate—who struggle in places outside of the greatest country on earth—led him to help establish Voices of the World, a non-profit Christian charity whose mission includes providing humanitarian aid to the poor and destitute of the world.

Born at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, FL (his father is a retired fighter pilot), J.D. has lived in Arizona for nearly 30 years. He resides in Chandler with his wife, Holly, who is a registered nurse, and their daughter, Calielle.

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