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Disinformation about causes of snowfall in the US proliferates

Right-wing politicians and groups in the United States have spread false information about the causes of the severe winter storm that is hitting much of the country, claiming that solar power and wind power are to blame.

“We should never build a wind turbine in Texas again,” Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller said on Facebook. “It is an experiment that completely failed.”

Steve Daines, Republican Senator from Montana, tweeted: “This is the perfect example of why we need stronger energy sources like natural gas and coal.”

In fact, the malfunctioning of natural gas, coal and nuclear power facilities was responsible for more than twice the blackouts compared to solar power or wind power, the Texas Board of Electrical Management said at a press conference, which operates the electrical network of that state.

Despite this, especially on social media, false accusations proliferated that renewable energy sources were to blame, particularly the proposal for economic development with environmental protections called the Green New Deal.

A photo of a helicopter repairing a wind power turbine in Texas circulated on social media, accompanied by messages that it was necessary to spray the equipment with a chemical.

Actually, it is a photo taken in Sweden taken years ago and the helicopter was bathing the machine with hot water.

Other politicians, such as Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert from Colorado falsely blamed the Green New Deal for the phenomenon. Boebert tweeted that this proposal “is obviously unsustainable since you cannot depend on renewable energy sources.”

But it has nothing to do with Green New Deal, as it is just a proposal that has not been approved in Texas or anywhere else, said Mark Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere / Energy Program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at the Stanford University.

“Actually, most of the country’s electric power comes from natural gas, coal and nuclear power and that’s the main cause of the blackouts,” Jacobson told The Associated Press.

The Texas Electrical Stewardship Council estimated Tuesday that of the 45,000 megawatts turned off in that state, about 30,000 came from thermal sources such as gas, coal and nuclear power, and 16,000 came from renewable energy sources.