Bonus Episode: Deep Dive into the Winter Storm

Jon Victor Paul

In Episode 102, we interviewed Senator Hall and talked about some of the legislative policies that are being made at the Capitol regarding ERCOT and energy resilience in the state of Texas. But what I wanted to do on this episode is bring in two of my friends, Victor Sauers and Paul Martin, and really have a deep dive on what happened from the perspective of someone that’s in the energy industry.

And then also, regardless of what our politicians do at the Capitol, we are conservatives and we are people that want to be prepared, we want to be the ones that are able to serve our neighbors and our community in the case of another disaster. There will be another disaster. And so I’ve asked Paul Martin to come in and talk with us about some preparation ideas and lessons learned from this event.


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Jonathan Schober:
I’ve asked Paul Martin to come in and talk with us about some preparation ideas and lessons learned from this event. So Victor, Paul, thanks for being here. Victor, why don’t you go ahead and introduce yourself and then we’ll ask Paul, and then we’ll get started.

Victor Sauers:
Fantastic. Jon, thank you for inviting me. So I’m Victor Sauers, CEO of TKO Energy Capital, which we are a technology policy firm. So quite a bit with ERCOT, PUC regulatory body. But also behind the meter for industrial commercial loads, implying technologies, we also deal with the renewables, micro grids, and conventionals. So we’re quite familiar of how ERCOT and independent system operator operates. And we’re quite ingrained there in this winter events, not just for ERCOT, but also the surrounding eyes, those such as Southwest Power Pool as well as MISO, which is on the eastern side of Texas, but not part of Texas.

Jonathan Schober:
Great, thanks, glad to have you here. Paul, introduce yourself.

Paul Martin:
I’m Paul Martin. And I work in government relations for the reinsurance industry. So I spend my time at the Texas Capitol when they are in session and 26 other states that I cover in my territory. In addition to that, I also have my own blog, which is completely outside of insurance. Paultmartin.com, where I talk about preparedness for both individuals as well as communities. So one of the things I try to encourage people is to put themselves in a position to be prepared for power outages and other types of emergencies, so that they can be a leader in their communities, in their neighborhoods, when the rebuilding starts.

Jonathan Schober:
Great. So Victor, we’re going to start with you. Why don’t you bring us into a deep dive of this winter storm array? What happened?

Victor Sauers:
Sure. What folks on my blog might not see a slide deck I prepared to help the visual and a timeline go through some of the major issues that occurred there in the February 15th through 19th event. And the realization that we really went through three storm events within eight days. Even though we knew that this Polar Vortex was going to occur from the eighth of February. The question is, what do we need to change in policy before we have a heads up? What do we need to do during when we have an emergency event and how to recover?

So with that being said, let’s look at some information a little bit visual. So, on this first slide, you can see where the blue line is, where we have available power there in the winter event. So on February 14th, on this scale, and you see this purple dotted line, that was the real low that ERCOT could not service. It was there, it was needed, but we couldn’t service it.

This black line on the lower part of the first graph is load shedding. This is an order that ERCOT gives their transmission distribution utilities to shred power. So this is where they just do a disconnect from the substation or a reclosure and that’s whole amounts that you can see in this black line, which is very relevant, went up to 20 gigawatt of power that was load shredded within the ERCOT market. And keep in mind everybody for scale, a gigawatt, which you’ll be hearing that term quite a bit during this presentation equals one nuclear power plant. So we load shedded 20 gigawatt, 20 nuclear power plants worth of power when we could not service it. Now, what caused it?

Jonathan Schober:
Let me stop just a little bit. I know we’re doing this in the audio podcast. But if you want to watch the video, you can go to Texasgop.org/podcast and the actual video link will be listed there. So I know we’re going through the white paper, but you can watch the video at Texasgop.org/podcast.

Victor Sauers:
Thank you, Jon, very appreciated. So the event that caused the load shedding and the rolling outages and lost power for days was due to frequency drop. Our grid operates at 60 hertz. If we get below 59, 58, we start doing permanent damage to our grid, which just takes six months to a year to repair. So ERCOT had to make a decision, we had a huge amount of demand and the hertz was dropping. So when you see that about 130 Monday morning on the 15th, hertz was dropping, and it dropped all the way down to 59 hertz. And there was a very critical nature where we start losing the whole grid.

And so this is, always everybody’s asleep. It was snowing. During the day of Sunday, the 13th, the 14th, nobody knew what was going on other than the fact when they woke up people didn’t have power, people were rolling outages. And that was the cause. It was a call from ERCOT to, and their opinion, we needed to save the grid from having huge amount of damage. And this all happened within five minutes, very, very quick.

Jonathan Schober:
So within five minutes, they had to make a call to shut it down.

Victor Sauers:
They shut it down. And you can see a steep load shed. Like for instance, in that same time frame in our early morning, we load shedded 10 gigawatt within less than an hour, 10 gigawatt was off. That same token is within the winter months, we don’t have maximum power because we don’t need it, we usually have that maximum power of 80 gigawatt, and again, I’m using levelized numbers and try to keep it in terms everybody can understand. So 80 gigawatt or so in the summer, but in the winter is typically 56 to 60 gigawatt.

Jonathan Schober:
Not nearly as much energy use, because we’re not all running our air conditioners in the winter, obviously.

Victor Sauers:
Obviously. So this a winter event caused us to go up to 77 gigawatt of requests. We just couldn’t fill it. We had too many generators that were offline. Now, here’s the deal is you’re hearing-

Jonathan Schober:
[crosstalk 00:08:27] offline because of the event? Were they offline because it’s winter, and they turn offline. Why were they offline?

Victor Sauers:
So we had the same weather event in a shorter time period of 36 hours in 2011. And of course, the after effect, what do we do? What weatherization and what follow do we need? And it was done. We survived the 2014 and 2018 winter event, though it was a lot shorter than a 2021 winter event. But our implementation from the generator supply chain worked. Now does it work for five days at zero to 17 degrees day after day? Well, clearly not, but was that the cause?

So you can see that when we load shedded within hours to 20 gigawatt of load shed, well guess what, you see that what ERCOT is saying is weather related impact. And what does that mean, weather related? The weather related was an impact of about 20 gigawatt of power that was hey, that was weather related, but you know what? The timeframe coincides exactly when we load shedded. So when we load shed, we load shedded our supply chain, either rolling blackouts or complete disconnect from our supply chain. Our supply chain in the winter are gas generator, which we call thermal generators by natural gas, our natural gas comes from Texas within a gas fuel from a gas well. So when we have rolling outages, we cut off the power from our supply chain. Now some of them have roller outages, but once you start having a 45 minute rolling outage or two hour rolling outage, the well and the supply chain won’t recover.

Jonathan Schober:
So we’re literally pulling gas off the pumps to feed our power generators. I mean, that’s how it works. Is that correct?

Victor Sauers:
Yes, Texas supplies its natural gas and it’s an organization, the Railroad Commission is the authority for our oil and gas industry and the supply chain, but that is what was supplied through the wellhead to the pipe up to the generator. Again, I’m using simple terms. But when you cut off power between the well, the gas compressors and upstream resources to be able to get to the power plant, well, guess what? The power plant, the natural gas power plant is going to star for energy. And that is the majority of our generation there in winter months.

So is it a chicken and egg thing? We did have power in West Texas for tens of thousands of gas wells that did not freeze, they had other issues up to supply chain through the, what we call gas plants, gas compressors, to be able to get to the power plant. But was it a weather event? West Texas does get cold for multi days, they have multi days of freezing every year. But when you cut power, they’ll freeze up. So that was one issue that caused the load shedding, aggravated the freezing up of our infrastructure, our supply chain to the power plants. As long it’s running, as long as the wells are running, the gas is flowing, and the generators are running, we can survive quite a bit of weather events.

So the other issue outside of the low shedding aggravating our supply chain is our price tag. And again, I’m going to show here where we’re talking about generation by fuel. The majority is gas. But here’s the key thing I want to take a look at. I wanted to show you gentlemen, is cost. So I have a slide where it says our timeline, we have February 13th, on to February 20th. So you look at the load shed where we load shedded on the 15th. And the cost per megawatt hour went to 7000. And then the 8th up to 17th, it went up to $9,000.

Jonathan Schober:
Now let me ask, when these prices go through, when these price increases go into effect, is this a cost for additional power? Or is this everything, are the incentives in place to actually generate more power? Or does that dollar, the first dollar that you’re paid… Help me understand the incentives that we’re giving the suppliers when we increase the prices like this?

Victor Sauers:
Right. So you see we had our first ice event, it was between 500 to $1,000 a megawatt hour on the 12th. On the 13th, it goes up to $2,000. And on the 14th, we get up to $4,000 and it goes higher and higher. However, look at the actual load, which is the blue line on top of the bar graph. So you see that we’re stuck about 50 gigawatt, maybe about 48 gigawatt, from the 15th to 16th to 17th, it didn’t move. So we’re at $9000. Well you’re not getting what we’re paying for because it’s a price signal to incentivize generators says, hey, I can’t afford to run at $30 a megawatt hour, which is a typical price that ERCOT signals, right?

So that’s typically, we have very, very affordable wholesale power between 20 to $30 on an aggregate average, and screaming up to $9,000 in emergency event or congestion events, they incentivize generators to say, hey, we’re going to cover your costs with this price signal. But here’s the deal. We had a price signal for multi days at $9,000 and we’re still getting only 46 to 48 gigawatts, it did not move the needle.

So when I was at $2,000 or $4,000, it didn’t move the needle. So that puts a huge burden on our transmission distribution utilities, our co-ops to the members, in other words, us, us Texans, us ratepayers. So versus saying it’s not within our pricing structure that we have a prove up, we have, so for instance, if I want to go from $2,000 to $9,000 with the understanding that there’s generation available at some price, well, in this particular case there wasn’t, there just wasn’t generation available. It came on later on after going into the 18th to the 19th, we started getting more generation, because you can see the low, which is the purple line, and the available generation, which is the blue line. Hey, you know what, by the 19th, we’re fine.

But if you look at the pricing, when everything cleared on the 18th and 19th, there was still like $5,000 to $6,000, even though the load was covered with current generation. So did we have, those are rules and this hopefully is helpful with our legislative body in Texas, saying, do we have two things? Can we protect our infrastructure for the burden on price signals that are not justified? For instance, if I’m a gas compressor and now I have the ability to compress gas, but my pricing goes from $2,000 a day to operate a five megawatt compressor and goes up to $300,000 a day, I can’t run, even though the gas is available. Because [inaudible 00:16:42] myself out, right?

So in critical infrastructure, can the T&D Transmission Distribution utilities and ERCOT recognize which is critical infrastructure? And can the legislative body give the PUC and ERCOT guidance to say, hey, you know what? This is how we’re going to price infrastructure during these emergency needs, either this is a summer portfolio or a winter portfolio, right?

So in other words, if I go to $9,000, I need a prove up from the supply, the generators that they can provide that 10 gigawatt, that 20 gigawatt that we need. If you can’t, why are we driving a price deck that cannot fulfill the order, regardless of the price? It doesn’t matter it’s $9,000, which is the cap that can’t go any higher than $9,000. That’s by legislative rights. But even those $90,000 a megawatt hour, you still couldn’t get generation.

Jonathan Schober:
Right. There wasn’t any generation to bring online. I mean, it didn’t matter how high you went.

Victor Sauers:
Doesn’t matter how high you want, it didn’t really matter.

Jonathan Schober:
Two things. How can we as normal citizens that are trying to engaged, and watching this, what are the things that we need to know? Or maybe more importantly, how can we assess the legislation that’s going on? Because there’s tons of noise that’s out there. What are some key things that we can look forward to be good citizens and make sure that our governmental bodies are doing the right things?

Victor Sauers:
Well, if you look at things, a couple of things with our Texas leadership, is, what can we do when we’re notified of a Polar Vortex on the eighth of February? So if you’re a supply chain, and you’re a thermal generator using natural gas, how much prep can I do and what is the cost? So right now, the total role of the one number we heard was $47 billion over this nine day period, right?

So from the 12th to the 20th. So $47 billion. Now, if ERCOT gives heads up says, hey, are you prepared to handle generation, how can we help? So can the legislative body give guidance to the Texas Public Utility Commission and ERCOT saying, you know what? If you ERCOT or PUC say that we’re in emergency situation, it’s the eighth of February, we’re going to give you the ability to cost recover and preparation so you can have the available generation and now it’s the eighth of February, what can you do for storing fuel, keeps in place heated? There’s tons of things. In fact, we already have cases of thermal generators taking the initiative on their own to keep the generators going, right?

Jonathan Schober:
So from the generator’s perspective, they really did have a 10 day heads up, I mean, this didn’t surprise them. Is that an accurate statement?

Victor Sauers:
They were notified, they were aware of it, and ERCOT was aware of it. The question is, is cost recovery. But here’s the deal. If it’s zero degrees in Texas going up from the eighth to the 15th of February, or it’s 27 degrees. Well, what’s common about it is both frozen, they’re both frozen temperatures, but the Btu you require from zero degrees to 27 degrees at 250 counties is a huge amount in investment and preparation that’s a supply chain, and thermal generators have got to be able to do, so they need that ability to cost recover if it is approved, and ERCOT pulls that trigger, says yes, we’re willing to pay the cost recovery. Our calculation comes in at 3.7 billion if that would be the cost to be able to prep for this one event.

Jonathan Schober:
So 3.7 billion versus the 47 billion that we spent, that’s what we’re talking about?

Victor Sauers:
Right. There’s different numbers, but even if you cut it in half, it’s one-

Jonathan Schober:
Right. Maybe it’s eight billion instead of 20 billion.

Victor Sauers:
That’s right. So is it a hybrid capacity market? Both the PUC and ERCOT needs guidance from our legislative bodies, say, hey, here’s the rules when I can pull that trigger for cost recovery, which is enormous amount cheaper. Now here’s the thing, we need to identify critical infrastructure that protects our thermal generators so we don’t cut them off when we are in this load shedding event. But how do we protect our infrastructure, our critical infrastructure outside of hospitals, fire department, police department, what have you.

So those things need to be identified, and how we can coordinate a little bit better moving forward. The other part that we look at going forward on emergency situations, who can be exempt from that $9,000 during a mass scale winter event or mass scale summer event? Because it’s critical infrastructure, right? So those are the things that need to be discussed so we don’t get misinterpreted. It was a weather event. It was because of the weather.

Well, that means installation. That’s what people think. I said, no, if we do installation, which is being discussed, that we need some sort of cost recovery installation, realizing that that cuts back on our gigawatt capability for the summer. So we generate more power per generator than generators up north like Wyoming, like North Dakota, because they’re highly winterized, but they can generate as much power because they’re heavily insulated.

Jonathan Schober:
Right. I think what we don’t want to do is end up with a knee jerk reaction where we solve for some winter event, but now we’ve basically reduced our capacity in a hot summer, which is a more likely event to occur.

Victor Sauers:
Absolutely. And that is something guaranteed to happen every summer. This winter event [inaudible 00:23:18] happened. But we need to fine tune our energy market and ERCOT Texas is an energy market, not a capacity market. The ERCOT Texas market is the most studied market and infrastructure in the world. Not New York, not California, in the world, right? Is that how do you guys do so much wind and solar? How do you keep your cost so low without these huge incentives that we have to do? Either in Europe or other nations, right? How do you guys do it? Right?

Now we got a bloody nose in February winter storm, but this just tells us how to fine tune. So clearly, we’re not recommending that you throw out the baby with the bathwater. It just needs to be fine tuned. And some other issues that you’re in white knows or white noise being connected to the Western or Eastern grade, no, they are in big trouble. They had no power, no gas to supply to Texas, it would take 27 states, the surrounding states around Texas, we would have to knock them out to be able to divide that 30 gigawatt of power that was required in the winter storm.

Jonathan Schober:
So again, the knee jerk reaction is, oh, let’s just connect us to the Eastern and the Western grid. Again, that’s a myth because they had no power either.

Victor Sauers:
They have rolling blackouts. They had a cartel, because we also work with the Southwest Power Pool, which is like ERCOT and we also work with MISO, which is on the eastern part grid like or ERCOT, they had a lot of problems, right? This is where vortex effect all the way through on three interconnects, three large independent system operators, right? So it’s quite large. So we see how bad it was, even though Texas got the majority of the new cycle, but to the point where do we have no generation? Yes. But we have to have the ability for the supply chain, the generators till we have cost recovery when we pull that trigger, we need to identify our infrastructure, critical infrastructure, and we need to control our pricing signals that if I prove up a pricing signal, the supply chain, the generators and say, yes, we can provide. If you can’t provide, you don’t get the price.

And the same thing to gas. We have co-ops that typically pay 500,000 or one million dollars for their generation invoice from the generators. Well, now they’re getting invoices between 30 to 50 million for that nine days, million, right? So the gas went up and became scarcity, because we load shedded and froze up our gas infrastructure, which drove up the gas price. So again, same thing as ERCOT on the electrical side, for the Texas Railroad Commission. Well, what about price controls for prove up that why should my gas go from a couple of dollars, a million Btu to $400, $500 a million Btu you when you couldn’t provide gas?

Jonathan Schober:
Right. I think the incentive always needs to be more, additional capacity is what the incentives need to be. Well, here’s what I wanted, I want to go and shift gears a little bit. Because, we’ve all now experienced what it’s like, I mean, I know, I personally, we were out of, like everybody else, we had no water, we had no electricity. I’ve got seven kids. My mother at the time was recovering from COVID, she was on oxygen, which required electricity.

So all of a sudden, all this stuff became very real. And what I want to do is, I want to hand it over to Paul for a minute and talk to us a little bit about preparation, and some of the things that you did, because I know I followed a lot of your advice on your blogs, but what have you learned, personally, and as you’ve watched this, that you can help us better prepare, because again, there will be another event somewhere, maybe it won’t be as big. But like grandma said, carry an umbrella because it’s going to rain.

Paul Martin:
What I’ve been telling people is that if your news feed over the last 12 months have not encouraged you to get better prepared, there’s nothing I can say to you that will. We’ve had pandemics, we’ve had wildfires, we’ve had civil unrest, we’ve now tested our grid under severe winter conditions. So I’m gotten out of the business, so to speak, of encouraging people to prepare. And I just simply offer guidance to those who are interested.

So some of the lessons that I think we all learned. And I want to preface this by saying I know there are a lot of great people who work for ERCOT, who work for the energy generators, and I don’t want this to come across as criticism. But at the same time, we have to acknowledge, as Victor has touched on, the fact that the grid got a bloody nose, at least here in Texas.

And we have to acknowledge that this may happen again, it was just last week when the temperature was 82 degrees here in Austin, where ERCOT was issuing a request for people to conserve power. And I think a lot of people who had just come out of that situation just a few weeks ago, back in February, were really starting to scratch their heads and say, “Well, if we’re struggling to generate power at 82 degrees in Austin, what happens when it’s 102 or more in August?”

So one of the things I’m encouraging people to do is, as I did throughout the winter storm, is start making a list of things that did not go well at your home, and things that you did right, and then start to use these as the lessons learned. So, for example, when people tell me, well, I lost power for two or three days, and I lost water for two or three days, we’ve got really smart people like Victor giving guidance to the people at the Capitol. And I think that’s really important. And I’m glad that there are people doing that, but at the same time, Jon, you touched on the fact that well, what can I do as an individual?

So one of the things I always tell people is make notes of the lessons that you learned, and then start to build on that. On my website, I give away a 50 page eBook on becoming a ready citizen. And I talk about how to get better prepared just on the basics of having some food set aside, having the ability to purify water, having some ways to create alternative energy, either through a generator or through some power station.

But it’s interesting, because in Texas, we think of ourselves as being really resilient people, and we are. At the same time, people that I know who had swimming pools were lamenting they could not figure out a way to flush their toilets, because they didn’t have any water. Well take a bucket, go onto your swimming pool, take some of that water, put in the back of your toilet, and voila, you can flush your toilet.

And people, we had governor Abbott telling people how to cut the water off at their street, so that they didn’t have burst pipes. They’re just some things that we need to start doing as Texans, as citizens, as Americans, to start being better prepared. So take an inventory of what you did right and what you did wrong and start learning from that. And there are plenty of books right now available on Amazon and articles, where you can start learning lessons on how to be better prepared.

Jonathan Schober:
And your ebook, what’s your website, again?

Paul Martin:
It’s Paultmartin.com, just go to paultmartin.com. There’s a tab at the top that says the ready citizen guide, just click on that. I have a spreadsheet you can download for free for your food planning, I have a 50 page guide that I’ve written. And I’ve written it so that you can give it to a teenager in your house and say read this. And that teenager will be able to come up with a plan to get you prepared in as little as a weekend if you take it seriously. And you devote the entire weekend to it. You can get really prepared really fast, buying stuff that you can find at your local grocery store, and at your local big box retailers. You don’t have to go out and buy space food or lots of guns and ammo or night vision gear to achieve a basic level of preparedness.

One of the things I talked about, I did a seminar back in March after the storm. And I tell people, I never had to use any guns or ammo or any, I didn’t have to use my ham radio. But I did need to use my ability to purify water because we lived in a neighborhood where a lot of our neighbors didn’t have water. We’re fortunate in that we use rainwater as our sole source of water. And it was so bad, Jon, that the local Austin Fire Department right across the street had no water. Those guys texted me one morning and said, “Could you give us 15 gallons of drinking water.”

Now when the fire department is out of water, that’s a bad sign. I asked those guys. I said, “Well, what does that mean if you don’t have water? What about the fire hydrants?” And they said, “We have 800 gallons of water on the truck, anything after that if someone’s house catches on fire, we will have to tank water in using tanker trucks.”

Jonathan Schober:
Wow.

Paul Martin:
That’s where we are. And that is where we are. And we can complain about the grid, we can complain about our political leaders. And we all do that from time to time. But the reality is, what can you and I do as individuals so that we can take care of our families and be safer in those times? And also be an asset and a resource to our community as well.

Jonathan Schober:
I think good advice. Well, we’re going to take a quick break. But when we come back, I want to ask both of you guys, what keeps you up at night?

Speaker 2:
You’re listening to the Elephant Heard, we’ll be right back.

Pastor Vic Schober:
Promises, God’s promises, He makes them and He keeps them. I want you to look with me to the book of Proverbs in the Old Testament. It’s Proverbs chapter four and verse 22, great wisdom and promise. He says, “My son, attend to my words for they are life to those who find them.” Have you found His word yet? Good. And the last part of it is terrific. It says, health to all their flesh. Are you sick in body? Are you hurting? Do you have pain? Are you suffering? Are you having some kind of an illness? Maybe it’s not good that we talk about it, but I’m here to tell you take God’s word. Take it as medicine, begin to believe and have faith in the word of God and be healthy. Remember, God keeps his promises.

Speaker 2:
From the capital of the Lone Star State. Welcome back to the Elephant Heard.

Jonathan Schober:
You’ve been listening to a bonus episode of the Elephant Heard as I’m joined with Victor Sauers and Paul Martin, we’re talking about ERCOT, deep dive on the winter event and also how each one of us can personally prepare to be better neighbors and better citizens. So what I would like to do now is I’m going to start with you, Victor, what is it that keeps you up at night?

Victor Sauers:
Well, there’s two things, really. One is seeing that all the times that we’re being faced with, you think about COVID, so disruption, division is an opportunity where you can say that it’s not my kind of people. If I just hang around my kind of people, then we become part of the problem. So the Jesus Christ didn’t hanging around the church, did he? He was out there talking to people who were sinners. It’s okay to work with people who you disagree with and have those conversations and relationship building.

So we need to double down on reaching out, and having those conversations and building those relationships. I’m not asking you to be their best buddy, best friend, but get to know the person and let them get to know you. So that’s where we really need to double down.

The other part on the larger scale, related to, that can impact Texas and many other states in the union is we have very lack of water infrastructure. We haven’t done water infrastructures from the 1950s. And Texas in the 70s was nine million people, we’re at probably 30 million people. And we haven’t built up our freshwater system. 42% of our freshwater is used for thermal generation, is incredible. 42%.

So for us that… Look at Livingston or Lake Travis or what have you, well, that’s what those reservoirs are, you can’t have a thermal power plant unless you have first permit water rights. And that’s where most of the first permit rights go to, is thermal generators. So with increased population, water become a really big deal.

At the same token, what Paul’s was the critical nature of water, that becomes an issue really, really quick, right? Not just you needed cleaning, but just for livelihood, right? So we have to have water and we’re at pretty red line right now. From the Texas Water Commission, we’re looking at probably 50 million to get somewhat up to speed. So you that’s a big one. That’s a silent tragedy heading our way.

Jonathan Schober:
Well, thank you for bringing attention. I think it’s something that we can be aware of. Paul, I’m going to switch over to you, what is it that keeps you up at night?

Paul Martin:
And I would touch not just the water issue, but I think Victor is absolutely right, it is a critical issue. But for me, and I’ll answer this in two parts, from a technical piece. The people, I do preparedness meetings and conferences, and I get the similar question. The big threat, I think that we’re all facing that word really not doing enough about and that is the cybersecurity issues surrounding the grid.

And when I say the grid, is not just the electrical grid, is the water grid, it is the internet system, it is the financial system. That is something where just a few keystrokes from malware can completely shut down large sections of the country in a matter of minutes. And the impacts of that would be felt much broader than what we’ve experienced with COVID, I’m afraid. So that’s the one concern.

But as Victor touched on this concept of the bigger things, everything we’re seeing in the news. One of the things I’m encouraging people to do is be the kind of American you want the other guy to be, right? We all think we want these people to straighten up their act and do right and do what I think you should be doing. And one of the things I think that we’ve learned is that maybe we need to focus that microscope, if you will, inward, and we all need to start improving our own citizenship skills and our own leadership skills, and making sure that we’re doing things as best we can individually and as a family, rather than blaming others and other communities and other groups of people for societal ills.

Jonathan Schober:
I think those are true, true words. Well, guys, Victor, Paul, thank you so much for being on this bonus episode. I think this really has been valuable. I appreciate your time. If you like this, go ahead, and like I said, if you listened to the podcast, but you wanted the video, you can go to Texasgop.org/podcast.

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