This post was originally published on Legal Planet. Reprinted with permission.
In the wake of the Texas blackouts, we're seeing a number of familiar moves to deflect blame by the usual suspects — politicians, regulators, and CEOs. These evasive tactics all begin with a core truth: Eliminating all risk is impossible and would be too expensive even if it weren't. But then they spin that truth in various ways. The result is to obscure responsibility for the disaster and the steps that should be taken going forward.
Here are some of the most common dodges — not counting such crass moves as blaming everything on the Green New Deal or the media.
Dodge #1: No one could have foreseen this event! This often sounds reasonable. How could anyone have foreseen that New Orleans' levees would simply collapse, or that a historic tsunami would hit the nuclear reactors at Fukushima? Yet it invariably seems to turn out that some reliable source did in fact foresee the risk. The Army Corps of Engineers' own lab had shown that levees on the region's soils could be undercut by high waters. Geologists had already found evidence of a similar past Japanese tsunami — admittedly, an extremely rare …
This post was originally published on Lawfare. Reprinted with permission.
It is now a week out from the start of the massive Texas grid failure that has resulted in numerous deaths; millions of people plunged into darkness; scores of communities without clean water or heat in record cold temperatures; and billions of dollars in catastrophic damage to homes, businesses and the physical infrastructure that supports them. Critical questions surround the causes of this massive disaster and how to plan for the future so that a tragedy of this scale does not happen again.
At this point, there are many facts that Americans already know. Contrary to the spurious claims by Gov. Greg Abbott as well as numerous right-wing politicians and pundits, freezing wind turbines and the state’s history of supporting renewable energy development did not cause the grid to fail. Indeed, wind turbines outperformed grid operator …