Is Biden to Blame for Winter Power Outage Risk?

It has become popular among scientists and weather experts to blame pretty much everything on climate change the past few years. 

It’s an easy way to explain why we see more frequent heat waves and excessive rainfall and flooding. Plus blizzards, derechos, and other extreme weather events. All of which can cause power outages.

But the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) believes there’s another cause. And it gets far less publicity. 

The organization cites this cause as a major factor in why more than one-half of the U.S. is at an elevated risk of blackouts this winter.

Energy Policy Called a ‘Threat’

In its Winter Reliability Assessment report, NERC points the finger at the Biden Administration’s green agenda. It states that the president’s energy policy is one of the top threats to America’s electrical grids. 

This is the first time in the 55-year history of NERC that it has identified an energy policy as a cause of poor power grid performance.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) also chimed in on the subject. It stated three key reasons why the president’s green agenda is responsible:

  • Increasing demand for electricity to power items including electric vehicles
  • Decreasing electrical generation due to the premature closings of coal and gas-fired power plants
  • Permitting delays that prevent new infrastructure from being built and connected to the grids

EPA Plan ‘Reckless and Irresponsible’

The NRECA took direct aim at the Environmental Protection Agency. Especially the proposed power plant rule that will reduce plant emissions by 90% in 12 years. 

The organization says the plan uses “unproven technologies and unrealistic compliance timelines.” And that it “threatens electric reliability and affordability for every American.” NRECA added that current federal energy policies are “reckless and irresponsible.”

The EPA argues the opposite. An agency spokesperson said that new carbon pollution standards for power plants will help “tackle the climate crisis and protect public health.”

He added, “By proposing new standards for fossil fuel-fired power plants, EPA is delivering on its mission to reduce harmful pollution that threatens people’s health and well-being.

“EPA’s proposal relies on proven, readily available technologies to limit carbon pollution and seizes the momentum already underway in the power sector to move toward a cleaner future.” 

Many States Face Potential Blackouts

Regardless of the cause, it looks like the U.S. could be in for more power outages than usual this winter.

EnergyWire says that large parts of the eastern U.S. are especially prone to blackouts this winter. As well as most of Texas, the lower Mississippi Valley, the upper Midwest, and the Carolinas.

That’s due to tighter energy supplies and an increase in extreme winter weather in recent years. As well as limited natural gas delivery. 

The bottom line is that major winter storms and/or prolonged cold snaps are more likely to cause winter outages than they have in the past. 

Pulling the Plug on Grid Improvement

Politicians and regulators promise to shore up America’s power grids every time major outages occur. Such as the one that accompanied Winter Storm Uri in Texas and other Southern states in 2021. 

Lawmakers in Texas vowed to fix their grid after that horrific week of extreme cold, frozen pipes and closed roads. 

But it didn’t get accomplished. The Texas grid is still unstable. The Washington Post referred to the problem as an “underinvestment” in the grids.

And that underinvestment could come back to haunt Americans this winter. NERC’s recent report stated this. “Much of North America is at an elevated risk of insufficient energy supplies this winter. And is highly exposed to risks of energy emergencies in extreme winter conditions.”

Extreme Weather Is New Normal

Thankfully, those types of extreme conditions don’t happen every day. But it’s difficult to recall a winter when they did not occur at least once in a deadly fashion.

Including last year at about this time. Winter Storm Elliott affected dozens of states. Blizzards, high winds, and record snowfall and cold temperatures resulted in at least 100 deaths.

And just a week ago, with winter’s official start still nearly two weeks away, a series of powerful tornadoes ripped through central Tennessee. They killed six people, damaged hundreds of homes, and displaced thousands.

More than 17,000 homes and businesses were without power on December 11, and temperatures plunged below freezing. It is expected to take days or possibly weeks before power is fully restored.

‘Cause for Concern for All Americans’

These same kinds of challenges are affecting many other states. One of America’s grids serves 15 states, from Arkansas to Wyoming.

NERC says that particular grid will operate with significantly lower backup energy reserves than last year. That’s due to some power plants closing and electrical demand increasing. 

The New England area and Mid-Atlantic states have their own problems. Natural gas infrastructure issues are creating a threat for this winter. 

The amount of available power has changed very little in the past year. But demand at peak times has increased. Extreme winter weather will make that demand rise even more.  

Jim Matheson is CEO of NRECA. He said, “This forecast again shows that our nation faces looming grid reliability challenges while demand for electricity continues to soar. 

“That’s unacceptable and should be cause for concern for all Americans.”


  • Dana Wells - December 17, 2023

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  • Charles Butler - December 17, 2023

    President Biden is in charge of the country each state in charge of its power source which are run by Corporation who will do anything for profits and it doesn’t matter who suffers

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