Texas energy prices are rising at a dramatic rate once again, and Senator Ted Cruz is falling back on blaming an old boogeyman for the price hikes: the Green New Deal.
Over the weekend, Cruz released an incendiary statement on Twitter blaming the dangerously rapid growth of Texan energy costs on the Biden administration, which he claimed to be working on behalf of “Green New Deal radicals.”
Numerous high-profile, left-leaning Twitter personalities responded with fervor to the senator’s tweet, criticizing and making fun of it for its irony. The accounts mainly focused on Texas’s grid and its separation from the rest of the country’s electrical network. That isolation caused the deaths of hundreds of Texans in February 2021, when Cruz infamously responded to the immediate threat of the crisis by fleeing to a family vacation in Cancún, Mexico. The state’s deregulated energy market also resulted in massive surge prices that families are still struggling to pay off, in large part due to the reduced supply of natural gas that occurred during last year’s winter storm.
Having been thoroughly ratioed by his Twitter critics, Cruz countered with a chart purportedly showing that President Biden’s environmental policies had indeed manufactured the current increase in power costs, citing the exponential increase in natural gas prices that is driving the majority of Texans’ energy inflation.
However, Cruz’s claim is a blatant falsehood. The main driver of natural gas inflation is the current war between Russia and Ukraine, as European nations attempting to wean themselves off their reliance on Russian natural gas are turning to the American market to secure their energy needs. Without a compensating increase in gas production, this increased European demand has led to the ongoing rise in natural gas expenditures.
Cruz also actively ignores the fact that, to the dismay of many progressives, Biden and establishment Democratic leadership actively rejected the Green New Deal and its most ambitious climate goals. While Biden embraced some major climate action in the original Build Back Better proposal, the long-discussed legislation has still not passed, and the President has broken a major campaign promise by resuming oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands.
Furthermore, the green infrastructure investments proposed by progressives would actually serve as a deflationary measure for Texan consumers. As energy consultant Alison Silverstein states in the same Dallas News article that Cruz linked to in his controversial post, it is actually wind and solar that “are saving our wallets” by helping us consume less electricity from expensive gas-powered plants.
It appears the “Green New Deal policies” that Senator Cruz seems so bothered by are combating Russian gas hegemony, renewing federal drilling leases, and supporting energy developments proven to lower prices for consumers. Either the Green New Deal is much more conservative than previously thought, or Ted Cruz could not be more wrong in his opinions on energy inflation.