Texas, so independent and so unprotected

I don’t know geography. No, I did well in school, and I have an A in geography, but I don’t know it at all.

Growing up, I realized that the best way to learn is to travel, but. There are two BUTs: finance (do not forget that my husband and I are an average-income family) and Covid-19.

I decided to study my new country of residence with News on TV, books and the Internet.

Today, the main topic on American TV is Texas.


Throughout history, a total of six countries have raised their flag over Texas. These are Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and finally the United States.

The first historical document associated with Texas was a map of the Gulf coast created in 1519 by the Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda. Nine years later, Spanish shipping explorer Alvar Nunes Cabeza de Vaca explored the Texas wilderness. There he found several local tribes: The Caddo, Apache, Comanche, Pueblo.

In 1821, most of Texas was under the rule of the newly independent Republic of Mexico.

In 1825, 300 American families settled along the southern Brazos River.

In 1835, the Texans started a Texas revolution against the Mexican government.

In 1836, Texas became an independent republic.

In 1845, Texas became America’s 28th state. Texas was nicknamed The Lone Star State. Its state flag had only one star on it, as it did when Texas was a republic. 

Facts about the state

– Texas is the second largest state after Alaska. If it was his own country, it would be the 39th largest in the world! It borders Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas, New Mexico and Mexico.

– Texas is the nation’s largest oil producer, supplier of cattle, sheep, minerals, cotton, and wool.

Austin, Texas

– Texas possesses three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States– Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.

-Houston is the largest city, but Austin is the capital.

– Austin is considered the living music capital of the world.

– Highway 130 between Austin and Seguin has an 85 mph speed limit! If you love fast driving, then now you know where to go, except for Germany and their autobahn.

-Extreme weather. The highest temperature ever recorded in the state was 120° F (48.8° C), the coldest – -23°F (-31°C).Texans claim to have four seasons: drought, flood, blizzard, and twister. 

-Texas uses its own power grid

– And the cherry on the cake: Texas is a storm state, and on average, Texans will have to endure 139(!) tornadoes every year.

But back to the electric power industry

Texas has an unusual power setup. Unlike the other states in the union Texas has its own power grid. That grid, which operates as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, covers 90% of the state. The other 10% includes El Paso, the upper Panhandle and a chunk of East Texas. 

The separation of the Texas grid from the rest of the country has its origins in the evolution of electric utilities early last century. In the decades after Thomas Edison turned on the country’s first power plant in Manhattan in 1882, small generating plants sprouted across Texas, bringing electric light to cities.

The goal of the Texas Interconnected System is to stay out of the reach of federal regulators. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act, which charged the Federal Power Commission with overseeing interstate electricity sales. By not crossing state lines, Texas utilities avoided being subjected to federal rules.

The crisis of 2021

The crisis was the result of two severe winter storms sweeping across the United States on February 10–11 and 13–17. As temperatures plunged and snow and ice whipped the state, much of Texas’ power grid collapsed, followed by its water systems.

As the air temperature dropped, people turned on the heat, which increased the demand for natural gas and contributed to a shortage of electricity in power plants that use gas to produce this very energy.

Extreme cold increased the need for energy, while the storm reduced energy production.

Who is to blame? and What to do? – the most favorite Russian questions

-Texas Governor Greg Abbott blames the Texas Electrical Reliability Board (ERCOT) for failing to prepare the state for the winter storm.

But the Governor also said he has a responsibility to make sure the nonprofit company functions properly, and promised to implement reforms.

-ERCOT, which operates the state’s power grid, said five days before the storm it was ready for the incoming storm. The company’s winter assessment assured the public there would be enough power to get through winter and it issued a notice to power plants to ensure they were winterized properly, Abbott said.

-Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz tried to take a family trip to Mexico during and away from the winter storm. He left on Wednesday, but returned on Thursday. “Obviously, it was a mistake”, Cruz said of his decision to go on the trip. “In retrospect, I wouldn’t have done it. I tried to be a father.”

-President Joe Biden has declared a major disaster in Texas and states of emergency in Louisiana, Oklahoma due to the storms. The declaration opens the door for more federal aid to flow to the states that have suffered widespread blackouts and water shortages amid frigid temperatures.

-While Senator Ted Cruz was dealing with the aftermath of his trip to Cancun, Mexico, Democrats Beto O’Rourke and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were raising money.

Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman from New York, launched a fundraiser on Twitter and raised $ 4.7 million (as of February 21) to help Texans. And she volunteered to help with the food distribution in Houston.

Once in the Russian news, I heard the host call her a bartender. Perhaps the goal was to discredit the girl. 

But look, she was born in a working-class Puerto Rican family in the Bronx, New York. Ocasio-Cortez graduated from Boston University, majoring in economics and international relations, and worked for Senator Ted Kennedy’s office where she focused on immigration issues while in college.

After graduation, she returned home to help her mother (she worked two jobs), her father died of cancer. Yes, Alexandria worked as a waitress and bartender before running for Congress in 2018. 

But what’s wrong with that? I worked in a laundry room at a nursing home. What bad traits of my character does this fact indicate? But this is probably a topic for another post.

As of now, 

Less than 200,000 people are still without electricity. The water is slowly returning to the Texans in almost a week! More than 14 million people are still without water or have to boil water before drinking. 21 people were killed.

That’s all about Texas. If there are any questions, let’s sort it out together.

I wish you all a safe winter and a speedy spring.



Author: Elena

Hi, My name is Elena. I am Russian living in the US. My blog is about my life and experience. This is my new hobby. So, please, don't be too hard on me. Thanks

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