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"It's wednesday february seventeenth. Everything's bigger in texas especially the power outages start here lives on the line. Millions are asking. How did cold weather lead to an electrical catastrophe. Texas has its actual own chunk of the electric grid vape. We'll break down what went wrong. And why the issues light deep in the heart of the grid. They said you can't take an ex president to impeachment. Court said fine. We'll take an irregular court. Lawyers could really try to unearth documents and emails electronic communications with the senate trial in the rear view mirror. Members of congress are pursuing new investigations the assault on the capital. And it's like a jigsaw puzzle with a national treasure. Americans rebuild walter dom invective could be more like jenga or reporter goes into notre dom to learn how difficult and dangerous it is to rebuild from. Abc news this is start here. I'm brad milkey. We lost power last night and it trickled on and off probably ten times when power goes off in a neighborhood. It can feel like an inconvenience early chance to eat and you have to rush my teeth or anything so after a while you start to worry about food staying good and see without lots of flashlights. At night. Three jackets three pants. Three socks and boots on from there. Every hour it gets progressively more dangerous. We haven't have power for the last day and a half my house last night. Breach to fifteen degrees inside and he was horrible which is why the power outages in texas. Week or so alarming. We are following breaking news. Millions of people in texas are without power. Right now is the state looks to conserve energy and relieves stress on the electric grid. I'm seventy years old. And i'm scared in houston woman and an eight-year-old girl dying carbon monoxide poisoning after a car was left running in garage to help generate heat as last night. More than three million. Texans had lost power as like the entire country of uruguay. Just turn the lights out and the reason given to us. Was you know we got these ice storms. But what does that actually mean we call it. The senior science writer for our partners at five. Thirty eight maggie curtis here. Hey maggie hi. how are you guys doing. Good so intuitively. I get why hurricane can knock out power to a place right like it. Makes the electricity poles. Come down like the water causes short circuiting but freezing. Temperatures eletricity still works in freezing temperatures. So why did this happen. Well power lines are still physical objects that can get damaged by cold for one thing so you have lots of different places in a electrical grid. Where cold weather just things down. And that is everything from an ice storm. Freezing the lions outside of your window weighing them down to the point that they crash to transformers exploded and was like fireworks. Going off for july can mean d natural gas coming out of the ground at the production site is freezing at. You know at the site of production. We're down there doing everything we can to literally put heaters in the ground to get those lines back up that can mean people workers at power plants not being able to drive to the power plant. Because it's just too icy. There's lots of different ways that whether of this extreme in a place that does not expected to be that extreme can really just start messing with the entire system by the problem is the weather is causing the outages but the weather is also causing the man to look at that moment. People need their heaters on more than ever. They need services more than ever. Why texas looks like we're seeing other power outages but we're talking about ten thousand three million. What happened in texas. Well there's a number of different things happening here and some of it has to go back to the fact that our electric grid is not a. It's not like a brand new state of the art design system anywhere in the united states and one of the things that were sort of seeing happening here with texas is that texas is like a whole other country. In north america. there are three electric grids. The western interconnection the eastern interconnection and the urquhot interconnection texas has its actual on chunk of the electric grid like the electric grid is is divided into three parts everything east of the rocky mountains everything west of the rocky mountains and texas literally texas is on its own littoral. Yes yes yeah. That's not an exaggeration. Policy direction comes primarily from texas public utility commission guided by the texas legislature. And it is like that because politics basically like. There's no technical reason why it has to be that way. There's no reason why that's even remotely an ideal situation or caught a similar to an air traffic controller. It doesn't own the airplanes or runways but it steps back and make sure everything is flowing properly and efficiently and what it ends up. Meaning is that texas can't share electricity or get electric city from the rest of the country very easily. It's possible but it's not a very simple thing to have like there's blackouts can say. Oh shoot like we need to get 'electricity from wherever colorado someone right right and this is not always a bad thing. I mean like one of the things where you see benefit to having the setup is that it ends up driving up the cost of electricity. Sometimes which means that. There's a big impetus to build more electricity. Which is a big part of why. Texas has led the nation in win development over the last couple of decades because they have all of this incentive to build more power generation. Usually they're thinking for the peak of summer which is a really great time to get wind power in texas. They're not really planning for the peak of winter. Seventy to eighty of them about ten percent are physically off-line right now physically are not working. So if you've seen. I'm sure some of the stuff around blaming wind power for these outages by working outta well. I mean when turbans still work in minnesota brian. We get a large portion of our electricity from wind. Turbines and part of that is because minnesota has. You can buy a car and upgrade all these upgrade packages while the same is true of wind turbines and all the ones in minnesota have the cold weather package installed which includes things like heaters sang and stuff like that and texas did not now. We had rotating outages in nineteen eighty nine and two thousand eleven after two thousand eleven. The public utility commission recommended updating winterizing these power plants but it was not mandated. The reason why it was seen as a costly mandate for a weather event that we really only see every ten to twenty years. of course. we're in one right now and that decision seems rather obvious. We have reached out. But it's not just wind right when you were looking at the data coming in over this weekend about where the outages were happening in texas a far greater proportion of their lost generation capacity was coming from natural. Guests are not going to pull power from first responders. You know fire station. Police departments hospitals and so that gives them very limited capability to take some people off line. Put them back.