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Sen. Cruz: This Energy Failure Can’t Happen Again in the State of Texas

Speaks with Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Houston ABC13’s Tom Abrahams

February 19, 2021

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202-228-7561

HOUSTON, Texas - U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) this week appeared on Fox News' ‘Hannity,' spoke with Tom Abrahams of Houston's ABC13, and spoke with local reporters on the historic winter storms across Texas. Excerpts are below.

WATCH: Cruz on Fox: We Need To Make Sure Texas Power Grid Failures Never Happen

Sen. Cruz said:

"Heidi and me, we lost power for two days. Our house was dark, we had no heat, [...] we were all huddled around the fireplace because it was only heat in the house. And after a couple of days, after the girls being really cold and it being in the teens and the 20s outside, our girls said look, school has been canceled for the week. Can we take a trip and go somewhere warm? And Heidi and I, as parents, we said, ‘Okay, sure.' And so last night I flew down with them to the beach, and then I flew back this afternoon." (Sen. Cruz, Fox News' ‘Hannity', 2/19/21)

"I started having second thoughts almost the moment I sat down on the plane because, on the one hand, all of us who are parents have a responsibility to take care of our kids, take care of our family [...] But I also have a responsibility that I take very seriously of fighting for the state of Texas and frankly, leaving when so many Texans were hurting didn't feel right. And so I changed my return flight and flew back on the first available flight I could take. I couldn't take a morning flight because the current restrictions require a Covid test. [...] So I took the first flight I could get after getting the Covid test and testing negative." (Sen. Cruz, Houston Gaggle, 2/18/21)

"What was I thinking? I was trying to take care of my family. I was trying to take care of my kids. And, you know, [...] it's unfortunate the firestorm that came from it. It was not my intention in saying yes to my daughters to somehow diminish the all the Texans that were going through real hardship. [...] In hindsight, if I had understood how it would be perceived, the reaction people would have, obviously I wouldn't have done it. It was a mistake. [...] And one of the things I really regret, I don't like this being used as a distraction from the real issues, which is why was our electrical grid unprepared for this?" (Sen. Cruz, ABC13's Tom Abrahams, 2/18/21)

WATCH: Sen. Cruz: We Need a Serious Inquiry Into What Factors Led To Texas Power Grid Failure

On the current conditions on the ground in Texas, Sen. Cruz said:

"We've got a crisis that is playing out in the state of Texas, both a natural disaster of two winter storms, one on top of the other that that fell very closely, but also the disaster of people all across the state who've lost their power." (Sen. Cruz, ABC13's Tom Abrahams, 2/18/21)

"That combination is extremely unusual. I spoke this weekend before the storms hit to a meteorologist, a weather expert who was looking at the projections and telling me that this looks really dangerous, this combination of not just one, but two, the impact on the state is going to be very serious, that the impact is going to knock down power production - It's going to impact the state profoundly. And so I started as before the storms hit and as they were hitting, trying to warn Texans, take this seriously. This is not just another winter storm. The impact of this is going to be significant. And based on the expert guidance I was getting, I wanted to make sure Texans knew that. I also connected that expert with the governor to make sure the governor had the benefit of this meteorologist's judgment about the storm and the magnitude of what was coming in. [...] What was not anticipated is that even with this historic cold, and we knew we were going to see temperatures 30, 40 degrees below historic norms for this time of year, what was not anticipated is that the electrical grid would come wildly short of what was needed to provide for the needs of the state of Texas." (Sen. Cruz, Houston Gaggle, 2/18/21)

"Governor Abbott had already declared an emergency in all 254 counties all across Texas. And so, I joined with John Cornyn urging Joe Biden to declare a federal disaster to mirror the Governor's request, which to his credit, he did. That was early on right before the storms came, we know they were serious. This week has been hell for the State of Texas. It has been two storms on top of each other. Four million Texans lost power. No power, no lights, many with no water." (Sen. Cruz, Fox News' ‘Hannity', 2/19/21)

READ: Amid Winter Storms, Sens. Cruz, Cornyn Urge Biden to Approve Gov. Abbott's Request for Disaster Declaration

On the ensuing energy crisis in Texas, Sen. Cruz said:

"It has been frustrating. [...] A lot of Texans are mad - how could it be that Texas, the energy capital of the world can't turn our lights on? Texans are frustrated. This should not have happened." (Sen. Cruz, Fox News' ‘Hannity', 2/19/21)

"I've got the same questions you do, I've got the same questions Texans do. Why is it that the grid that they forced rolling blackouts of millions of Texans? [...] I will say most days of the year, Texans are very grateful that that we don't have that we have our own power grid because Texas energy costs are much, much lower. [...] Most days of the year, Texans are happy for that. [...] I think it would be a mistake for people to jump in prematurely and want to federalize the Texas energy market. I think that would in all likelihood drive up energy costs in Texas dramatically. One of the reasons people moved to Texas from all over the country is the cost of living is affordable. [...] And so are there hard questions to be asked about why the system didn't work in this instance? Absolutely. [...] The fact that the grid didn't operate is completely unacceptable. But I don't want it to suddenly become an excuse for the feds to come in and take over everything and drive up the cost of Texans every day of the year in perpetuity. I think that would be a mistake." (Sen. Cruz, ABC13's Tom Abrahams, 2/18/21)

"Texas is the number one producer of wind energy in the country, more than California - about 25 percent of our electricity comes from wind, and that is a valuable asset. My view is that we ought to be using all of energy sources but we shouldn't have mandates. [...] Right now, we don't have clear answers as to why the Texas energy grid couldn't handle this surge in the winter. Obviously, a massive surge like this is very unusual in Texas. It appears there were a combination of factors. One factor is a substantial number of the wind turbines froze and ceased producing energy. Now, elsewhere, other colder climates are able to put treatments and lubricants on wind turbines so they can operate in the cold, but in Texas, that wasn't predicted to happen, and so they didn't do that. We also saw substantial drop-off from coal, substantial drop-offs from natural gas, substantial drop-offs from solar. What we need to do is have a serious fact-based investigation not based on politics [...] it needs to be based on the evidence, based on the facts to say what happened. Why was the grid not there?" (Sen. Cruz, Fox News' ‘Hannity', 2/19/21)

"The grid couldn't meet the demands and so they took whole streets and whole neighborhoods off-line. That should not happen again. It certainly shouldn't happen in Texas. [...] It is a failure of the system and it is a failure of the government regulators are causing. Part of the reason that Texans are is this shouldn't happen in Texas. The State of Texas is going to fix it. Governor Abbott was right when he called on the legislator to investigate why the grid wasn't ready and to make sure this never happens again in the state of Texas." (Sen. Cruz, Fox News' ‘Hannity', 2/19/21)

WATCH: Sen. Cruz's Full Interview with ABC13's Tom Abrahams on Winter Storm URI

READ: Emergency Resources for Texans in the Wake of Historic Winter Storm

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