This story first appeared in the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.
U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., on Friday repeated claims that the Texas power outages were caused by frozen windmills, that President Joe Biden “with the stroke of a pen” eliminated thousands of jobs and that renewable energy is unreliable.
Following a roundtable discussion on energy issues that included only oil and gas advocates at the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Boebert laid the blame on the rolling blackouts in Texas not on the unusually cold weather or a faulty power grid, but on frozen windmills.
Texas officials, however, have said the state’s utilities, which rely primarily on natural gas for power, were not prepared for the extremely cold temperatures, which froze everything from natural gas pumping well sites to power generation plants.
“Texas is showing us clearly that they are unsustainable,” Boebert said of the state’s renewable power, which accounts for about 25% of its total supply, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, a nonprofit corporation that manages the flow of power in the state.
According to the council, the rest comes from natural gas (46%), coal (18%) and nuclear (11%).
“I am pushing for reliable energy, and if renewable comes to the point where they are reliable, sustainable and affordable without government getting in the way and choosing winners and losers with their subsidies, then I’ll absolutely promote those,” Boebert said. “But that’s not where we are right now. We aren’t to the point where we can get away from petroleum products. We’re not to the point where renewables can sustain our way of living.”
Boebert said Texas only has renewable energy because it was mandated, however it was a predominantly GOP-controlled Texas Legislature that called for a 10% renewable energy standard by 2025. Also, all forms of energy, including fossils fuels, receive some form of government help, according to the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, a nonprofit group formed in 1984 by a bipartisan group of members of Congress.
The Silt congresswoman, who sits on the House Committee on Natural Resources, has introduced a bill to undo some of Biden’s executive orders, namely his temporary ban on future oil and gas leases on federal land and his revocation of a permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is to deliver Canada tar sand oil to refineries in Texas.
Boebert, whose husband, Jayson, works in the oil and gas industry, said her seat on that committee will allow her to have a say in what happens with the energy industry and the nation’s public lands.
“I can have a seat at the table for these issues that matter most to western Coloradans,” she said. “I’m eager to talk about the issues. I’m eager to show data that actually lines up to science, and show that we are environmentally friendly and we do it better than anyone else.”