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[OPINION] This Power Outage in Texas Should Serve as a Warning

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ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – Texas Governor Greg Abbott appeared on television telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that wind turbines were the cause of the days-long energy crisis in Texas that has already killed at least ten people. In reference to the energy crisis, Abbott stated “this shows how the Green New Deal would be a deadly deal for the United States of America.”

Abbott is wrong.

It is foolish to blame a legislative agenda that has never been implemented for an existing crisis, it is even more foolish to blame green energy on an energy crisis in one of the largest CO2 emitting states with high demand for fossil fuels.

This crisis dates back to 1935, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Federal Power Act, a renaming of the Federal Water Power Act that also expanded regulations over interstate electricity transmission and wholesale power sales. Throughout the history of Texas, it has regularly threatened to secede from the union, so as another act of defiance to escape federal regulations, Texas created its own power grid, the only state to do so. There are three power grids in the United States: the Western Interconnection, the Eastern Interconnection, and the Texas Interconnection.

Texas’ decision to develop its own power grid made way for the creation of ERCOT in 1970, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. ERCOT is an independent system operator (ISO) that is subject to oversight by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas and the state legislature, meaning Republican officials hold responsibility for overseeing ERCOT activities.

Do not be mistaken: this energy crisis was caused by improper planning and limited oversight.

The largest part of the issue is deregulation and privatization of the power grid. In 2011, Kate Galbraith of the Texas Tribune wrote an article about the nature of the Texas Interconnection. Gailbraith highlights the fact that ERCOT was formed as a direct result of a 1965 blackout, to keep up with the federal regulations that Texas tried to escape.

Texas is the only state with a deregulated power grid which presents numerous problems. The largest problem deregulation presents is the lack of incentive to listen to experts that have been warning Texas for years about winterizing their energy supply and diverting a disaster of this caliber.

Green Energy

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The Texas government’s administrative failure directly led to this event. Their infrastructure is one of the worst in the country and an eventual collapse was expected by experts long ago.

Keeping in mind the Texas government’s secessionist ideals, Texas does not necessarily need to ditch their individual grid in favor of a national grid. Instead, Texas needs to recognize the shortcomings of fossil fuel and capitalism, and start investing in green energy resources.

ERCOT lists wind energy as one of the largest sources of power in the state, at roughly 25 percent. However, Dan Woodfin, the Senior Director of System Operations, stated that less than 13 percent of the power outage was caused by frozen wind turbines.

It is frequently pointed out that the fossil fuel energy sources were not winterized as experts have been warning Texas about for a while. Fossil fuel energy sources were not the only energy resources that Texas failed to winterize; the state failed to winterize their wind turbines as well, which could have saved millions of people from losing their power.

Wind turbines should not freeze in the extreme cold if they are properly maintained, meaning they should have deicers, which Texas failed to provide.

Prior to Texas setting up their own grid, hydropower was among the most important energy sources in the state, satisfying many employment needs. Today, hydropower only provides roughly one percent of energy production in Texas. Hydropower could easily phase out a lot of the fossil fuel energy resources used in the state, providing millions of jobs as well.

While Republican lawmakers are constantly lying about the unreliability of renewable energy and the number of jobs that would be lost from getting rid of unsustainable fossil fuels, they are pocketing money from fossil fuel corporations. Instead of lying about renewable energy, Texas Republicans should acknowledge the old jobs that were destroyed when the state moved away from sustainable energy such as hydropower and focus on working to recreate those jobs.

If the government of Texas cares about their constituents, it would take responsibility for its failure to regulate energy and help save the next generation by substantially increasing renewable energy and technology.

Anyone interested in helping Texans during this tough time can do so here: The Houseless Organizing Coalition of Houston.

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Supervisor Nathaniel Douglas is the youngest person to be elected during the 2020 election, winning Seat 5 on the Orange Soil & Water Conservation District. He is a Florida National News political contributor. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Events

Salvation USA Crusade Makes Historic Evangelical Impact in Orlando

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Patrons sit in the Magic Mall parking lot to hear the gospel during Salvation USA's crusade. Photo: Hidekel Griffin/Florida National News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN) – This past weekend, Salvation USA created one of the most historic evangelical events in the city of Orlando, Florida, where hundreds of people said yes to Jesus Christ.

 

On April 1-3, Salvation USA held three nights of gospel crusade at Magic Mall in Orlando, Florida. The organization worked with many local churches, pastors, and evangelists from Central Florida to spread the word, reap the harvest, and connect all the new believers into a local church for discipleship. Some of the Christian leaders involved include pastors George Cope and Manny Rosario of Vision Orlando, Bishop Derrick McRae of Experience Christian Center, Evangelist Daniel Kolenda of Nations Church, Pastor Caleb Ring of The River Church Clermont, and many others across the city.

In addition to working with the local churches, Salvation USA offered free giveaways for low-income families that suffered financially in the Pine Hills area. They offered bill payments and groceries to every attendee, and other fun gifts for Pine Hills youth. They also gave away at least one free car to someone in need. Most importantly, they gave the best gift of all: salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

 

Salvation USA Crusade Day 1

The first night was one of the most exciting and energetic gospel crusades that ever happened in Orlando, Florida. Eddie James and his worship team did an amazing job leading the crowd into the presence of God. It was also amazing to see Evangelist Steven Hurlburt working with the crowd and getting them excited about Salvation USA’s giveaways. After Evangelist Chris Mikkelson preached the gospel, the response was incredible. At least 70 percent of the crowd raised their hands to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. When Mikkelson asked them to come forward, the altar area was full of people, many crying, receiving Jesus Christ into their hearts.

After the altar call, Mikkelson prayed for the sick, and many people testified of being completely healed. One woman came with severe arthritis all over her body. She said she hadn’t been able to dance or walk without pain. She danced on stage, completely healed and pain-free. Many others testified of being healed of various pains and problems, and one crying mother asked the team of Salvation USA to pray for her son, who was on life support in the ER. They all prayed together for her son to be healed, and they got word from her at the end of the night that the boy was taken off life support, and the doctors said he was completely well.

 

Salvation USA Crusade Day 2

On the second night of the crusade, rain poured down in Orlando, but a big crowd attended anyway and dozens of people still got saved in the rain. Even though the crowd was very small, a few hundred people still showed up.

 

Salvation USA Crusade Day 3

On the final night of the Orlando Crusade, hundreds–maybe even thousands–of people attended. There was a strong feeling that something special was about to happen. Eddie James and his team led the crowd into very anointed praise. When Evangelist Chris Mikkelson made the altar call, most of the crowd came forward to receive salvation. It was astonishing!

Mikkelson mentioned on social media that he was used to seeing that happen in Pakistan, but not here in America.

This year, a woman named Rose came with her son to the crusade because they didn’t have any groceries in their house, and they heard that Salvation USA was giving out free food. Not only did she go home with bags of free groceries, but she also got healed from major neck pain that she had for years when Mikkelson prayed for the sick. And if that wasn’t enough to show her how much God cares about her, after the prayer for the sick, she won the free car giveaway. She said to Evangelist Chris Mikkelson, the creator of the crusade, that she didn’t have a car and was very much in need of one for her work, but she couldn’t afford one.

 

About Chris Mikkelson

Chris Mikkelson is an evangelist who has been doing gospel crusades near the Middle East, in places like Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka. Over the last seven years, He has seen over 1.5 million first-time decisions for Jesus, and God has moved mightily with signs and wonders at every crusade. Recently the Lord spoke to him about America and he felt the urgency to start holding crusades right here in the United States.

For more information about Salvation USA and Good News Gospel crusades, go to SalvationUSA.com.

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Business

Walt Disney World Characters Report Inappropriate Touching by Tourists

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MIckey and Minnie Mouse pose for pictures at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Getty Images.

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – The universal rule and now #MeToo mantra: Keep your hands to yourself.

That was the golden rule for every kindergartner and all throughout one’s adolescent years. However, this rule needs to be revisited with adults, especially in the case of those who visit our national tourist attractions such as Walt Disney World.

Mickey, Minnie and Donald have had it up to here with tourists laying hands on them and sometimes even causing serious harm. While it may seem innocent and appropriate for kids, adults pack a much harder “touch” as revealed in recent police reports filed in December 2019.

Employees, or “cast members” dressed as well known Disney characters, have complained that they are being touched inappropriately or with such force as to cause injury. In one incident, a cast member complained of neck and head strain due to a female tourist repeatedly “patting” her on the head of her costume and had to be taken to the hospital for medical attention. In that instance, a family relative’s explanation was that she was trying to show her grandson that there was nothing to be afraid of by patting Mickey on the head, the Orlando Sentinel reported. As her son-in-law Boone Scheer told the Orlando Sentinel, “she barely touched him… it was very minimal.”

On December 3rd, one cast member, while dressed as Donald Duck, agreed to accommodate an elderly female guest asking to kiss the Disney character for a photo opportunity. Unfortunately, the guest, who later was confirmed to be suffering from dementia, began to aggressively touch and grope at the cast member’s torso, face and arms. The guest had to be physically restrained by her own family members while the cast member retreated to a break room area nearby.

Even more disturbing, another occurrence led to a 51 year-old man’s arrest. The same cast member dressed as a Disney Princess was groped about her bosom while taking a photo with the guest who had been repeatedly inappropriate with a number of other cast members during his visit on December 5, 2019. He is now banned from all Walt Disney World properties, despite having a membership with the Disney Vacation Club.

The moral of the story? While all are welcomed to roam about at the “happiest place on earth,” one should exercise restraint and respect for those bringing laughter and cheer. This time around, the kids seem to know best.

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Kareen Kennedy is the Entertainment & Business Associate Editor for Florida National News. | info@floridanationalnews.com

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Crime

3 Dead, Including Shooter, in Gunfire at Florida Naval Base

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This photo taken from video provided by WEAR-TV shows emergency responders near the Naval Air Base Station in Pensacola, Fla., Friday, Dec. 6, 2019. The US Navy is confirming that an active shooter and one other person are dead after gunfire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. Area hospital representatives tell The Associated Press that at least 11 people were hospitalized. The base remains locked down amid a huge law enforcement response. (WEAR-TV via AP)

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — A shooter opened fire at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola Friday morning in an attack that left three people dead including the assailant, and multiple people injured. The gunfire prompted a massive law enforcement response to the base, which was locked down.

Base spokesman Jason Bortz told The Associated Press that two victims were dead. He said three people were transported off the base to hospitals, two of them in critical condition. Area hospital representatives told the AP that at least 11 people were being taken to hospitals, but the numbers were shifting.

The shooting is the second at a U.S. naval base this week. A sailor whose submarine was docked at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, opened fire on three civilian employees Wednesday, killing two before taking his own life.

Five people were taken to Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, hospital spokeswoman Kathy Bowers said. Six more were expected at Ascension Sacred Heart, spokesman Mike Burke said. Neither spokesperson had information on their conditions that they could share with The Associated Press.

NAS Pensacola employs more than 16,000 military and 7,400 civilian personnel, according to its website. One of the Navy’s most historic and storied bases, it sprawls along the waterfront southwest of downtown Pensacola and dominates the economy of the surrounding area.

It’s home to the Blue Angels flight demonstration team, and includes the National Naval Aviation Museum, a popular regional tourist attraction.

Escambia County Commissioner Jeff Bergosh, who works at the Naval Air Station as a civilian contractor, told the Pensacola News Journal he was in line to go through the gate Friday morning when it was shut down due to the active shooter report.

“There’s probably been 100 or so various law enforcement vehicles zooming down the wrong side on Navy Boulevard,” Bergosh told the newspaper. “There’s been ambulances, fire trucks. It’s my understanding there’s multiple causalities.

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