During the White House briefing on Wednesday, press secretary Jen Psaki corrected false allegations that renewable energy sources caused power outages after the winter storm in Texas.
- I want to get back to the Texas crisis. So about a decade ago, federal regulators suggested they urged Texas to weatherize its power grid. That largely did not happen, or it certainly didn't happen enough. And of course, it was only a suggestion, because Texas is not part of the national grid. You may have seen that Rick Perry, the former Energy Secretary and Governor of Texas, has said today that Texans would rather endure days of blackouts than submit to federal regulation. Is the president willing to leave 40 million Texans off of the national grid?
JEN PSAKI: There's a lot packed into that question. I will do my best to answer it. Let me first say that building resilient and sustainable infrastructure that can withstand extreme weather and a changing climate will play an integral role in creating millions of good-paying union jobs, creating a clean energy economy, and meeting the president's goal of reaching a net zero emissions future by 2050, and also will be beneficial in future storms.
I will say that there has been some inaccurate accusations out there-- I'm not sure if former Secretary Perry made these, but that suggested that renewables caused failures in Texas' power grid. And actually, numerous reports have actually shown the contrary, that it was failures in coal and natural gas that contributed to the state's power shortages. And officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state's power grid, have gone so far as to say that failures in wind and solar were the least significant factors in the blackouts. I know that wasn't exactly your question, but I just wanted to convey that, since there's been a lot of confusion about it.