Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), like so many other members of Congress, has a background as an attorney, not as an energy industry expert or a financial whiz.
Thus, it was a bit incongruous to hear the conservative Texas politician pontificate on his assertion that Bitcoin mining could be the solution to Texas’ energy grid problems.
The unique structure of the Texas electric grid — which is unconnected to the power grid in other states in order to avoid federal regulation —caused the collapse of the state’s power supply during an extreme cold snap last winter and resulted in one of Cruz’s worst political debacles when he was caught fleeing his responsibilities to help Texas during the crisis by taking his family on a tropical vacation in Cancun, Mexico instead.
Senator Cruz made his bizarre statements about Bitcoin as the solution to his state’s energy crisis while pandering to the crowd at a cryptocurrency conference in Austin last week.
According to a report by Vice, “the Republican senator expressed his faith that the mass buildout of crypto mines in the Lone Star State could add additional energy capacity to the state’s grid in the event of blackouts or power shortages.”
“Because of the ability to Bitcoin mining to turn on or off instantaneously, if you have a moment where you have a power shortage or a power crisis, whether it’s a freeze or some other natural disaster where power generation capacity goes down, that creates the capacity to instantaneously shift that energy to put it back on the grid,” Cruz told conference attendees.
Senator Cruz’s proposition makes about as much sense as claiming that manufacturing more gas-guzzling vehicles would be the solution to the climate crisis because we could always simply stop using their combustion engines any time we choose to.
One can imagine that a state whose governor has been such a staunch opponent of mask and vaccine mandates might have a problem with mandating a cut in the electric supply to a lucrative business sector, particularly if the cryptocurrency industry decides to become a major donor to the Republican party that dominates Texas government.
Still, Senator Cruz’s penchant for making definitive statements about areas in which he has limited-to-no expertise arrives frequently enough that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki felt compelled to mock his pretensions of deep-seated knowledge of topics on which he is unqualified to offer expert commentary duirng her daily press briefing today.
In this case, Psaki archly and sarcastically referred to Cruz as a self-appointed “world-renowned business, travel, and health expert” after he continued to assert that vaccine mandates were adversely affecting the availability of the U.S. workforce despite the fact that both business leaders and medical experts have debi=unked that claim.
.@PressSec on people who say vaccine mandates have reduced the workforce: "I know world-renowned business, travel, and health expert Senator Ted Cruz has made that point, but I wouldn't say that is widely acknowledged or echoed by business leaders…by health experts…” pic.twitter.com/RbLq053T5M
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 12, 2021
Amazingly, Senator Cruz still remains a viable political force on the right in spite of his obvious intellectual overreach.
Jen Psaki’s sardonic mocking of Cruz’s self-important elevation of his own capabilities to make definitive statements about areas in which he is way over his head is spot-on.
Senator Cruz is one of the Republican Senators who needs to be defeated at the first available opportunity and replaced with a Democrat who has a better grip on the issues that will make a difference in the lives of average citizens in his state, rather than the Bitcoin entrepreneurs he likes to suck up to.
Original reporting by Audrey Carleton at Vice.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.