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And half of Texans will still try to blame socialism.
Damn you AOC!!
It’s fine though, because the free market determines what’s best for everyone
I own what you need to survive, pay me what I want for it or die.
How very free market.
That what happens when you allow the utility providers have variable rates
Not to defend the utility companies, but the people who are getting hit with these massive bills signed up for a service called Griddy that allows consumers to buy electricity at wholesale rates. They are clear when you sign up that the rates can and will vary, so these people willingly signed up for "cheap power" with the understanding that they could get effed if something like this happens.
The people who use "normal" utility companies aren't getting slammed with these bills.
Here's the good news: Your house randomly didn't lose power during that storm!
Here's the bad news: You have to pay for the whole grid since everyone else lost power!
Mad? Don't vote for Democrats, they'll take your guns away and give you forced abortions just like they haven't been doing for the 50+ years we've been saying that!
You know that conservatives won't get that this is sarcasm, don't you?
Yup. *Unregulated* capitalism working as designed. Taking advantage of human cognitive characteristics for profit. Want to bet that the possibility of bills like these were only mentioned in the fine print of the user agreement with as much obfuscation as possible?
How the hell did americans get conned into commodifying markets with inelastic demand? People will always need electricity, always need healthcare. Then these private enterprises pat themselves on the back and tell their board they "Hit the jackpot" when they start charging customers 10,000.00$ + for their electricity in the middle of a fucking pandemic AND a natural disaster.
Do y'all need it to hurt MORE before you start electing people who have some god damn sense?
I feel very bad for Texans who are not rich and/or in on the corruption.
The only viable choice is to leave the failed state of Texas for a state that can deliver such exotic items as "electricity" and "water."
>I feel very bad for Texans who are not rich and/or in on the corruption.
*and don't keep voting to suicide themselves poltically.
Looks like Texas Republicans tried to model the electric utility after the dysfunction of our healthcare system.
When will we learn?
>When will Republicans learn?
To The people who voted Democrat over the past however many elections: I feel awful for you and wish it was a better state for you and you didn’t have to deal with this bullshit.
To the people who have voted GOP for years and will continue to do so: Get fucked. You get what you deserve. Enjoy paying off your bill for the next decade you dumb shits. LOL I am going to be laughing at you and enjoying this schadenfreude for as long, and probably longer, than it’s going to take for you to pay it off
And those most likely to sign up for utilities' variable rate scams are poor folks most likely to be hurt by suddenly rising rates.
Just like insurance companies don't pay claims due to 'Acts of God', they should not pay due to 'Act of God'.
You got a lot of nerve calling the Oil/Car/Logging/Fracking/etc... industries God.
"Hello, 911, what's your ~~emergency~~ credit card number?"
Most Texan's will gladly pay $10,000 or $50,000 in electric bills to keep the ebil guvment away. That's what the civil war was about. We'll do it again too. AOC is to blame for all of this! They just want our guns.
I’m curious if anyone, especially those that can afford it, intend to pay those bills. My guess is not a single one of them will.
If you don't pay the bill, they can put a lein on your house.
Deregulation was designed to lower rates, and most people loved it (outside of the power world where we new it was going to result in a more fragile electric system). It passed first in ‘95 with a majority Dem house and Dem senate. This is not an us vs them issue, it’s a question of human nature. The plan was proposed, and voters jumped on the band wagon. Now that people are getting burned, there will hopefully be legislation in place to eliminate some of the more predatory practices in the deregulated market and to force upkeep and better weather-hardening of Texas plants.
Asking the state or federal government to bail out people who whole-heartedly went in on the cheap option is like asking to bail out people who go about neglecting insurance , or people who racked up massive school debt for a low-earning degree. It is a shame, but I’m not sure where you can practically draw the line as to who gets bailed out and who does not.
Source: I’m an electrical engineer in the state of Texas, specifically working in power in both the utility and generation sectors.
Bout to see a mass exodus from the failed state of Texas.
If only someone, anyone, could have predicted that deregulating critical systems and letting private companies decide how to run them to maximize profits could have a downside. Imagine if we only had the ability to see these disasters coming and prevent them. It would be amazing. Well, I guess it’s time for me to put my head back in the sand, see you all after the next preventable disaster.
Sincerely yours, your elected republican representatives.
Deregulation is only promoted by politicians that are paid to do so by people that want to get away with things to make money.
That’s what variable rate looks like...fixed rates don’t look like that. Like the ARM’s that factored into 2008 crisis.
This is what you get when you vote for deregulation and then buy energy wholesale.
If they get any relief it should come from the State government, not the feds.
Yes, but "muh freedom".
I recall reading several stories over the years where certain towns would give the option to pay for public services or privatize them (like firefighters) and some people would take them up on that offer cuz "taxes are the devil and I like my liberty!"...then when their houses would catch fire, the privatized firefighters would be there only to protect the houses that *were* paying for their services....all while the person's house would be burning and they would beg for the ff's to put it out, to no avail. Private corporation and industries only care about who pays.
I feel for them, I really do...but AFAIK you can choose fixed-rate plans. These folks have benefitted greatly for many years with the variable rates; getting cheaper power than people all over the US. It's apparent that the variable-rate model has worked well enough for them that they never even considered something like this could happen.
I'm not on the utility company side here by any stretch, this model was doomed to fail at some point and they knew their consumer would be the one paying for it when it happened. But that doesn't change the fact that American consumers should take some personal responsibility for the choices they make and the contracts they sign when doing so.
We can't keep letting corporations f\*ck over consumers but we also can't keep bailing out consumers that get f\*cked because of the choices they make.
These people essentially chose a plan that allowed them to get short squeezed.
Two weeks ago people were rejoicing this happening with GME.
Two things with minimal upside and a very big downside.
Terrible situation but they were not forced to use the wholesale market through Griddy.
I just don't understand how the bill can be so damn high? (Bullshit, yes, I know). But seriously, how can this happen?
An electricity company makes electricity, and sells it on the wholesale market. It's bought by electricity retailers, who sell it to electricity customers.
A Griddy customer has agreed to pay the price on the wholesale market, just like electricity retailers.
A whole lot of electricity companies went off line, because their electricity generators froze up because it's real cold. They arent providing power on the wholesale market.
The electricity customers want to use a lot of power, because it's real cold. Their electricity retailers therefore need to pay what it takes to buy the smaller amount of electricity power on the wholesale market.
And the Griddy customers are on the hook for the same price.
Maybe if those Texan Republicans have to actually pay $10K in utility bills, they’d see the errors of their way.
Nah, they still won’t learn their lesson.
Happy 25th anniversary Democracy Now!
Everyone, call Governor Abbott and tell him to pay for it since this was all his idea.
I hate to be devil’s advocate here, but, the plans and companies that allow variable rates are very up front about the downsides and risk of these types of plans. This happened last summer with Griddy specifically when prices spiked and people were outraged at the bills... but by signing up for this service you are exposing yourself to the fluctuation of energy prices, which often end up saving people money... hence why they signed up for this.
There is definitely a discussion to be had about allowing this type of wholesale energy and variable rate plans, and I don’t think Griddy will actually survive after this, but people who signed up for this usually aren’t doing it with their eyes shut and know the risks.
Its almost too bad you can't tie aid to who you voted for in this situation. If you voted for the people that made this possible your stuck with the bill. You made your bed now you lay in it kind of deal.
But at the same time, I wouldn't let people that don't know any better hurt themselves either, there for we should help them all and crush their deregulation to dust. Maybe just tie aid to, joining the national grid and face regulation or lay in the bed you made.
The people who got hit with massive bills were using a
service that provides electricity wholesale. Essentially, they were actually buying electricity directly at market price. This normally meant cheaper electricity, but it also means that if electricity were to suddenly be in very tight supply, they would have to pay the VERY HIGH market price with no company in between to buffer them from the sudden market swing.
It’s overall a disaster, but people need to understand that a service that “magically” provides cheaper electricity like that carries a huge risk.
Hmm, this bill is odd cause whenever I get a bill for a negative number it usually means a refund. What’s up with that negative sign?
These services required you to fund your account with them. As you used power over the day, they monitored your meter and debited this balance you had with them. Once you reached a threshold, say less than $25, they would pull $100 from your bank account to "recharge" your balance with them .
Obviously, these folks don't have $11k sitting in their chequing account so the recharge debit failed. But, they kept using electricity so their "balance" is now negative. They owe griddy that money.
As a Californian who had to live through the rolling blackouts of the late 90s and early 2000s (Gray Davis / Arnold Schwarzenegger era) because of some Enron fuckery...My heart goes out to every single Texan that’s experiencing these shenanigans...Except for the traders on the Enron floor and any of the executives, I remember them saying “burn baby burn” when California wildfires were raging and driving the cost of electricity up.
Jeffrey Skilling and Andy Fastow can go to hell.
Maybe one day our essential services will be regulated as such.
some are dead. I think that's an important part to leave out of the headline
Now they know what it’s feels like to suddenly have a huge medical bill through no fault of their own.
It's not just deregulation that is free market privatization
Deregulation is for companies and politicians. Not for the benefit of everyday people. The whole idea behind deregulation is “y’all are on your own, bye”. Cue private jet to somewhere not crumbling under poor decisions.
And Federal relief money is going to help pay? What the Fuck! How about knocking those bills down to a reasonable level rather than rewarding the broken system and the price gouging.
>Some have been charged up to $16,000 for just a few days of energy use.
Sorry, but we need public utilities only. What a fucking tragic farce.
It's Enron corruption, chapter 2.
Deregulation sounds like a good idea. How’s it working out?
Texas you are, ironically, a hot mess.
Looks like some class action law suits will be heading towards some electric company
I don’t think there could be a stronger argument for turning Texas Blue than having the Red bleed them dry. Not to mention AOC coming in with 5 million and her bare hands to turn things around. These people are learning where their bread is really buttered.
It's just conservative infrastructure
CFPB and FBI need to get involved, this is out of fucking control. The power company caused this problem, saved money in the process, and they're passing the buck to the consumers when the natural and predictable consequences arise. They fucking *killed* people for a quick buck. The *least* they could do is forgive people's power bills until the grid is back up to normal capacity, and honestly there should be a criminal investigation either way.
Democrats need to hammer this point and keep hammering it until the next elections and beyond. There are some things that can be for profit and some that cannot. Healthcare, infrastructure, essential services, and education should *never* exist at the whims of the free market. Fiascos like this will always be the result of privatizing and profiteering from them.
But Libertarians said the market would moderate itself if we deregulate shit...
So these people REFUSED to sign contracts with their service provider to lock in rates why? Oh because it costs a little more for a guaranteed rate. So they wanted the cheaper rates but none of the risk associated with it.
Why so many working class Americans support policies that only benefit the 1% I will never understand...
We're only 20 years past Enron - Same shit was happening but with the added joy of market manipulation.
Deregulation of the power grid is bad.
Its fun watching the people over at r/libertarian try to explain this is NOT how the free market works
It seems to be the case with majority of their stances: They love the ideal scenarios through, what's ultimately, a lack of accountability... but refuse to accept that a lack of accountability practically invites bad actors.
Their 'governor' doesn't even know what's going on. The state is larger than most nations in the world. What a joke.
High electricity bills for a BLACKOUT. Wtf
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