A reporter asked Jen Psaki if Texas can use the America Rescue Plan to pay to weatherize their electric grid. I wish she had chosen a different answer.

Jen Psaki lost an opportunity to rib Texas

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A reporter asked Jen Psaki if the Texas Speaker of the Texas House assumption that monies from the America Rescue Plan could be used to weatherize power generators in Texas to prevent another Texas Freeze grid failure. His answer stemmed from what was reported in The Dallas Morning News.

AUSTIN — House Speaker Dade Phelan is the first state GOP leader to outline a way to pay for electricity generators to be weatherproofed so Texas can avoid a repeat of last month’s prolonged blackouts.

House leaders soon will introduce a bill to tap the state’s “rainy day” dollars to create a loan fund to stimulate weatherization projects, Phelan told broadcast news outlets this week.

Phelan, a Beaumont Republican, also said lawmakers should consider using state emergency aid coming from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package that President Joe Biden signed Thursday.

It could be treated as a one-time source of money to help electricity and natural gas producers protect their infrastructure against another arctic blast of the sort that crippled Texas Feb. 15-20, he said.

Consumer groups did question the need for subsidizing private industry. …

The federal help for states is intended “for recovery of disaster, and this is a disaster,” Phelan said on Austin Spectrum News on Monday night. “It’s a good use of money to cover some of these one-time expenses that won’t be here in 2023.”

On Friday, though, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki, when asked about Phelan’s idea, said she’ll have to check with the U.S. Treasury Department.

“I’m not sure if there are limitations on the use of it,” Psaki said. “Obviously, it’s intended broadly to ensure we’re keeping cops, firefighters and others on the beat.”

Texas wanted its own grid because it did not want to follow good practices that evolve from good federal regulations. It was former Texas Governor Rick Perry that said Texans are willing to go days without power to skirt federal regulations.

The Republican Texas politicians that made that reality should allow the market that they are so enamored with to pay for weatherizing the private power generation infrastructure.

As I explain in the video, we must deny using the COVID Relief Bill, the America Rescue Plan, to pay for Texas weatherization and other costs from the Texas Freeze’s self-inflicted damage. Texas is a Republican-run state. Every single federal Republican politician voted against the bill. They should not get any waivers to use monies to cover the state’s sellout to the private sector.


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