To say that multiple officials in the state of Texas dropped the ball during last week’s disastrous, record-breaking winter storm would be the grossest understatement of the century. Thousands upon thousands of Texans were essentially left to their own devices as they struggled to keep themselves and their families fed and warm throughout nearly a week of no electricity, no heat, and no water. And those who were lucky enough to keep their power through the treacherous storm were evidently left to their own devices when it came to their absolutely astronomical electric bills.
According to a new report from the New York Times, Texans who were “lucky” enough to keep their electricity on during the catastrophic storm were met with eye-popping, sickening 5-figure electric bills.
63-year-old Army veteran Scott Willoughby told the Times, “My savings is gone,” after receiving a mind-boggling $16,752 bill on the heels of the storm.
Speaking with the Dallas News Karen Cosby said, “It’s been 43 degrees in the house since Monday, and I still have a $5,000 bill.”
“How in the world can anyone pay that,” Ty Williams mused out loud to WFAA ABC after he revealed that his electric bill was over $17,000 this month.
But if you thought Texas officials would have any sympathy at all for their constituents being met with bills that are more than some people’s annual income, you would be wrong.
In an interview on Fox News, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick laid the blame for the astronomical utility bills at the feet of his constituents, despite the fact that the fault likes with Texas officials like Patrick and Cruz.
“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,” Patrick said on Fox. “But the people who are getting those big bills are people who gambled on a very, very low rate… going forward, people need to read the fine print in those kinds of bills.”
Again, the blame for this situation lies at the feet of the people who thought Texas just had to have its own electrical grid. NOT the people who didn’t get a choice in the matter. And while Patrick can spout on Fox News, telling the people of Texas not to “panic,” that the government is going to “figure that out,” the fact of the matter is, he’s also supposed to be “figuring out” why their grid failed so spectacularly in the first place when the state was warned a literal decade ago that this was going to happen.
You can read the full report from Vanity Fair here.
Featured image via screen capture