Texas seceded from the nation’s grid. We paid a price.

We enjoyed cheap electricity but never prepared for the worst, says historian Julie A. Cohn

From my chilly living room, I can reflect on Texas’s unique approach to power systems and simply hope we will learn quickly from the catastrophe.

Julie A. Cohn is a historian of energy, technology and the environment, affiliated with both the Center for Energy Studies at Rice University’s Baker Institute and the University of Houston’s Center for Public History.

Ihouston sit in front of my gas fireplace, wearing multiple layers of clothing, sipping a hot beverage, waiting for the end of the winter storm and contemplating the grid — the term we use to describe the collection of generating plants, transmission...

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