U.S. Rep. Says “Engineering Stupidity” Caused Blackouts

DALLAS (KRLD) – One North Texas Congressman blames the construction of the state’s newer power plants for the recent Texas-wide power emergency.

Representative Joe Barton says the bitter cold may be an act of God, but the failure of the energy system is not. “It’s just kind of engineering stupidity at its extreme,” he said.

In this case, Barton believes newer wasn’t better. “It just turns out that the newer power plants just weren’t properly weatherized,” he explained. “It’s not the old plants that kicked off, in most cases, it’s the new plants.”

Burst water pipes at two newer coal-fired power plants forced them to shut down, thus putting unprecedented demand on the rest of the grid.

TCU professor Dr. Ken Morgan says the burst pipes were the beginning of a cascade effect. “We’d reached capacity for generating electricity and usage was at an all-time high, and the reserves and backup were not able to be delivered fast enough,” he explained. “When you have all of those things happen something’s gotta give in the system, and they wanted to avoid a total blackout, so they went to a ‘rolling’.”

With thousands of Texans still without power, many people are calling for more regulation of the energy industry to solve the problem, but Barton says Texas simply needs better-built plants, that can withstand winter weather.

Listen to Rep. Joe Barton’s comments as heard on 1080 KRLD

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/u-s-rep-says-%e2%80%9cengineering-stupidity%e2%80%9d-caused-blackouts/ U.S. Rep. Says “Engineering Stupidity” Caused Blackouts « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] U.S. Rep. Says “Engineering Stupidity” Caused Blackouts One North Texas Congressman blames the construction of the state’s newer power plants for the recent Texas-wide power emergency. Go to News Source […]

  • erudite

    What about stupidity and greed in Congress, without remorse, conscience or responsibility?

  • Jim S

    Guess there won’t be a second chance of that happening. Yeah we have hot Texas summers, but the two past winters have been like living in Alaska. Congrats to the Joe Bartons for reminding them of our Texas weather. Haven’t they heard? Wait fifteen minutes and how’s that change working out for ya?

    • ibebubba

      Not to worry, Barton will apoligize to them later

  • http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2011/02/03/heres-what-caused-the-rolling-blackouts/ Here’s What Caused The Rolling Blackouts « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

    […] Stories: Barton Says “Engineering Stupidity” Caused Blackouts Perry Was Out Of State During Blackouts Dallas Hospitals Angry They Suffered Blackouts Why Was […]

  • Dan

    So Joe, where where you when those “stupid engineers” warned that we were on pace to exceed our generating capacity and needed to build more power plants a few years ago? Were they as stupid then as they are now after they were told they couldn’t build all of the new plants they needed?

  • Paul Kurilecz

    2 items:

    1) As an engineer, I would like an apology, preferably of the boot lickin’ kind.

    2) This probably wasn’t an engineering decision but an investment decision, you know, the same people who brought us CDOs ….

    • Reality Distortion

      Stupid is as stupid does. How can a competent engineer sign off on a plan that disables an entire plant whenever mother nature has a winter sneeze.

      Not a smart engineer. Perhaps the “investment” was under the table to said engineers to look the other way. Wink Wink. :-(

  • Texas Ranger 4581

    Wait one minute sir, I distinctly remember Rolling Blackouts and Brownouts LAST SUMMER in Texas. This cold weather cannot be the only reason.

    We all know that Power Engineers are not the brightest people. The ones I talk to have spent too much time on top of their utility poles. You must be referring to the ones that are a sandwich short of a Picnic or perhaps those a fry short of a happy meal. The ones I have dealt with have been two cans short of a six-pack and definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed if you knows what i mean.

  • Wang Hung Lo

    Cheap Pipes !
    This sounds like my wife’s diaphragm. Every time it get really cold outside and we are stuck in the love shack she ends up like the VW Beetle she drives (aka Pregnant as a Roller skate).

  • Dale

    My bet is that an engineer designed it right, then an unscrupulous business person bought the parts where they could get a kickback. You know, like the entire culture on Wall Street.

  • jim

    So, this representative has a degree in Electrical Engineering? How many times has he voted in favor of increasing spending on electrical infrastructure?

  • RegularJoe

    Actually, this Rep has a degree in Industrial Engineering, which makes him pretty well qualified to comment on the mechanical aspects of an industrial facility.

  • RegularJoe
blog comments powered by Disqus
The Taz Show

Listen Live