(This story was originally published on Oct. 30. Today, Texas is girding for its most severe winter weather since last year’s deadly blackout.)
It’s been more than eight months since a glacial chill—the magnitude of which nobody quite anticipated—crept across Texas, forcing power plants offline, freezing natural gas wells and wreaking havoc on every part of the state’s energy system. Millions were plunged into darkness for days. Hundreds of people died. Damages topped $20 billion. And Texas’s leaders vowed to do everything within their power to prevent such a crisis from happening again.
But they didn’t do everything. And now, as temperatures are forecast to start dropping again in America’s second-most populous state, Texas is still at risk of another crippling energy crisis the next time it faces perilously cold temperatures.