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Capitol Hill
Sen. Ted Cruz speaks during a Republican press conference on the economy on Capitol Hill on May 4 n Washington, D.C.Jabin Botsford / The Washington Post via Getty Images, file

The problem(s) with Cruz blaming Biden for Texas’ energy troubles

Texas has its own independent power grid. So why is Ted Cruz blaming the White House for Texans' increased electricity costs?


Texas isn’t just facing questions about the state of its power grid, it’s also struggling with rising energy prices. Sen. Ted Cruz, however, has a message for his constituents: Blame the White House. The Republican senator tweeted over the weekend:

“The impact of President Biden being beholden to the Green New Deal radicals in his party has electricity costs through the roof in Texas.”

The same tweet referred readers to this Dallas Morning News report on rising energy prices in the Lone Star State.

So, a few things.

First, as Cruz almost certainly knows, Texas has its own independent system of power. Indeed, as regular readers may recall, in the continental United States, every state has to answer to federal regulators — except Texas, which goes its own way, with its own power grid.

What does the White House have to do with electricity costs in Texas? Effectively nothing, making the senator’s accusation plainly ridiculous.

Second, I don’t doubt that some far-right activists get worked up by mere references to the Green New Deal, but the climate goals haven’t been approved, and they also have nothing to do with the prices Texans are paying. (The senator lashed out again at the Green New Deal agenda yesterday, skipping past the nagging deal that the agenda hasn’t actually passed.)

Third, in an ironic twist, the Dallas Morning News article that Cruz referred people to quoted Alison Silverstein, an energy consultant who formerly worked with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Public Utility Commission of Texas, explaining, “Wind and solar are saving our wallets.”

In other words, the kind of renewable energy projects that Republicans are so skeptical of — for entirely political reasons — are actually helping consumers in Texas.

But as important as these details are, at its core this is a classic example of the senator’s cynicism. There are too many elected lawmakers on Capitol Hill whose intellects fall far short, but the problem with Cruz has never been that he’s dumb. The problem with Cruz is that he seems to think everyone else is dumb.

He knows Texas’ power grid is separate from the United States’ network. He knows President Joe Biden is not driving up energy costs in his home state. He knows the Green New Deal is a set of climate goals that haven’t been approved. It’s a safe bet he also knows that renewable energy projects are benefiting his constituents.

But Cruz hopes that voters aren’t as informed as he is, making them susceptible to absurd talking points that might benefit his political party. The problem is not just that the GOP senator is wrong, it’s that he doesn’t care about being right.

Rather, what Cruz seems to care about is what level of dishonesty he can manage to get away with.