Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Understanding the Texas Blackouts: What can we learn?

Date and Time
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Understanding the Texas Blackouts: What can we learn?


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Last week, an extreme cold front swept through the middle of the country, and people in Texas suffered dramatic impacts as the state’s grid was subject to blackouts.

In the early days of the disaster, politicians’ and commentators’ efforts to explain these infrastructure failures frequently veered toward hot takes and misdiagnoses. Meanwhile, some customers are now confronting exorbitant power bills in the wake of the disaster. As more and more Texans regain access to essential services, we want to take a measured look at the factors that contributed to the situation and what lessons decision-makers can learn from the crisis. How can authorities in Texas (and beyond) ensure infrastructure resilience and protect communities in the future?  

This Thursday, the Niskanen Center and the Duke University Energy Initiative are co-hosting a live briefing that will cover what happened in Texas and what can be learned to prevent similar events in the future, both in the particular case of Texas and beyond.


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  • William Hogan, Harvard University
  • Dalia Patiño-Echeverri, Duke University
  • Liza Reed, Niskanen Center
  • Michael Webber, University of Texas at Austin


  • Joseph Majkut, Niskanen Center
  • Brian Murray, Duke University