Cascading risks: Understanding the 2021 winter blackout in Texas

Payne Fellow Joshua W. Busby, Kyri Baker, Director Morgan D. Bazilian, Fellow Alex Q. Gilbert, Emily Grubert, Varun Rai, Joshua D. Rhodes, Sarang Shidore, Caitlin A. Smith, and Michael E. Webber write about the Texas freeze of February 2021 that left more than 4.5 million customers (more than 10 million people) without electricity at its peak, some for several days.  This piece offers a retrospective on what caused the blackouts and the knock-on effects on other services, the subsequent financial and political effects of the freeze, and the implications for Texas and the country going forward. June 2, 2021.