Apple to support winter storm relief efforts in Texas, other US states

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 2021
Apple will make contributions to local community organizations in Texas and beyond as work continues to restore order amid a brutal winter storm.



CEO Tim Cook announced the planned donation in a post to Twitter on Thursday. He failed to offer specifics, though the company typically provides between $1 million to $2 million in disaster aid, depending on the severity of the event.

"Our hearts are with everyone across Texas and around the U.S., including many of our team members, as they endure the impact of the harsh winter storms," Cook said in a tweet. "Apple will be making a financial contribution to local, community-based organizations to support their relief efforts."

Harsh cold has left at least 38 people dead nationwide, while millions of people are without water and power as unusually severe weather grips Texas, The New York Times reports. Many homes are facing frigid indoor temperatures and flooding from burst pipes, while a boil water advisory currently extends to some 13 million residents in the state.

In Texas and beyond, heavy snow and ice are disrupting car travel, grounding planes, causing stock-outs at stores, threatening medical facilities and slowing coronavirus vaccine distribution.

After descending down through Texas, the devastating storm system is now headed east.

Apple regularly provides financial relief to organizations dealing with catastrophes and natural disasters. In 2018 the company donated $1 million to victims of the Kerala floods in India, relief efforts following the Sulawesi earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia, and Red Cross activity after the California wild fires and Hurricane Florence. Contributions in 2019 included millions in aid for the California wild fires and Australian brush fires, while 2020 saw the tech giant donate to various coronavirus-related efforts, a project that involved the distribution of millions of masks to healthcare workers.
Bart Y

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
  • Reply 2 of 12
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 1,018member
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Bart Y
  • Reply 3 of 12
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,024member
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    edited February 2021 Bart YRayz2016GeorgeBMacdewmeMacProtmaymuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 12
    Bart YBart Y Posts: 44unconfirmed, member
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Agree, although I'm fairly certain Texas politicians are not actively seeking or asking for any help, lest it make them look "weak", never mind the needs of the ordinary Texan, 30-40%+ who are not Republican.  This is a weather disaster compounded by inadequate and unhardened man-made infrastructure that could have been much better but isn't.  I'm hoping that all Texans hold their politicians accountable for their LACK of responsibility for setting up goals, processes, and YES, responsibility and regulations to make sure utility services can function in extreme cold.  They (politicians and utilities) claim, "oh, but its a once a century incident, why should we have to prepare for that??".  Well the same thing happened in 2011, Federal regulators studied and suggested many many ways to winterize and prepare the electricity grid and generation systems for weather like this, but the legislature decided not to implement tougher regulations and instead suggested the utilities voluntarily upgrade and harden their facilities - of course it would cost money, of course, it would not happen unless forced to by law and regulation - and so here we are.  That once in a century event happened twice in 10 years!!  And more extreme summer weather and winter weather is a distinct possibility now.  Remember, all the cold weather states have perfectly fine operating utility system that can function quite well in much colder weather than just single digit temps and snow/ice.  

    Ironically, the Biden administration is sending additional food, water, blankets, supplies to Texas.  One has to wonder if the Texas state government will stop it at the border, allow it to come in, or otherwise not use it so as to no appear to accept federal aid.  Plus the federal government is now going to look into Texas' electrical grid and again recommend ways to harden the grid against bad weather.  Oh, and one more thing.  With all the snow and ice on the ground. and warmer weather on its way, what about potential flooding in flood prone areas like Houston as the snow melts?
    GeorgeBMacMacPro
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 6,957member
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Let’s also not forget the Republican press trying to blame the turbines for the whole fiasco, when in fact only 7% of the state’s power is supplied by wind. 

    Oh, and let’s never forget the Republican senator who jetted off to Cancun while people were freezing to death in his state. 
    GeorgeBMacMacPro
  • Reply 6 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 

    Ahh!  The old  "Everybody does it" argument!
  • Reply 7 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,542member
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Putting the politics aside, what you said about the winterizing is right on. I’d also bet that many homes in Texas use heat pumps for heat, which revert to pure resistance heating coils (basically a giant toaster) in extreme cold conditions. This would put a huge load on electrical demand.

    The Texas city of El Paso actually did heed the warnings of the failure to winterize their equipment in the decade since Texas suffered a similar series of extreme (for TX) cold related power failures ten years ago and only experienced a tiny number of power losses over a brief time period this time around. More short term thinking at play here. It’s sad that the people of Texas had to suffer due to the ineptness of their leaders, but unfortunately that’s the way things go.

    Apple’s charity, along with similar efforts by other organizations and individuals, to help people in-need is certainly to be commended.
    MacPro
  • Reply 8 of 12
    tmaytmay Posts: 5,812member
    dewme said:
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Putting the politics aside, what you said about the winterizing is right on. I’d also bet that many homes in Texas use heat pumps for heat, which revert to pure resistance heating coils (basically a giant toaster) in extreme cold conditions. This would put a huge load on electrical demand.

    The Texas city of El Paso actually did heed the warnings of the failure to winterize their equipment in the decade since Texas suffered a similar series of extreme (for TX) cold related power failures ten years ago and only experienced a tiny number of power losses over a brief time period this time around. More short term thinking at play here. It’s sad that the people of Texas had to suffer due to the ineptness of their leaders, but unfortunately that’s the way things go.

    Apple’s charity, along with similar efforts by other organizations and individuals, to help people in-need is certainly to be commended.
    El Paso, and the surrounding area, is connected to the Western Grid, not to ERCOT, the independent grid serving 90% of Texas.


    GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    dewme said:
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Putting the politics aside, what you said about the winterizing is right on. I’d also bet that many homes in Texas use heat pumps for heat, which revert to pure resistance heating coils (basically a giant toaster) in extreme cold conditions. This would put a huge load on electrical demand.

    The Texas city of El Paso actually did heed the warnings of the failure to winterize their equipment in the decade since Texas suffered a similar series of extreme (for TX) cold related power failures ten years ago and only experienced a tiny number of power losses over a brief time period this time around. More short term thinking at play here. It’s sad that the people of Texas had to suffer due to the ineptness of their leaders, but unfortunately that’s the way things go.

    Apple’s charity, along with similar efforts by other organizations and individuals, to help people in-need is certainly to be commended.

    Well, truth is not politics.   When a person or group makes a stupid mistake that hurts society and they do nothing to correct it (or feel remorse) they need to be identified and held accountable.

    But, other than that:  one minor correction:  El Paso is far enough removed from the big Texas Cities, they were never removed from the national grid.   So the lights are still on, the water is still flowing and the stores are open and well stocked.  
    (TMay beat me to it!)
    (But, it does demonstrate that this was a very  avoidable disaster)

    But here's a philosophical question:
    Since Texas benefited for decades from escaping regulation and associated infrastructure spending, should they be granted the billions of dollars they are requesting the rest of us to send to them to restore their communities?   Total damages right now are estimated at $18B and climbing.
    edited February 2021
  • Reply 10 of 12
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 11,421member
    And, it sounds like the people of Texas getting hit with a left-right combo.  From NBCNews:

    "As the Texas power grid collapsed under a historic winter storm, Jose Del Rio of Haltom City, in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, saw the electricity bill on a vacant two-bedroom home he is trying to sell slowly creep up over the past two weeks. Typically, the bill is around $125 to $150 a month, he said. But his account has already been charged about $630 this month — and he still owes another $2,600.

    Griddy's prices are controlled by the market, and are therefore vulnerable to sudden swings in demand. With the extreme weather, energy usage has soared, pushing up wholesale power prices to more than $9,000 per megawatt hour — compared to the seasonal average of $50 per megawatt hour."

    A properly running regulatory agency would have not allowed that to happen.

    Electric utilites, being part of the necessary national infrastructure and necessary monopolies need to be regulated to insure that both stock holders and customers (as well as employees) are treated fairly.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 11 of 12
    dewmedewme Posts: 4,542member
    dewme said:
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Putting the politics aside, what you said about the winterizing is right on. I’d also bet that many homes in Texas use heat pumps for heat, which revert to pure resistance heating coils (basically a giant toaster) in extreme cold conditions. This would put a huge load on electrical demand.

    The Texas city of El Paso actually did heed the warnings of the failure to winterize their equipment in the decade since Texas suffered a similar series of extreme (for TX) cold related power failures ten years ago and only experienced a tiny number of power losses over a brief time period this time around. More short term thinking at play here. It’s sad that the people of Texas had to suffer due to the ineptness of their leaders, but unfortunately that’s the way things go.

    Apple’s charity, along with similar efforts by other organizations and individuals, to help people in-need is certainly to be commended.

    Well, truth is not politics.   When a person or group makes a stupid mistake that hurts society and they do nothing to correct it (or feel remorse) they need to be identified and held accountable.

    But, other than that:  one minor correction:  El Paso is far enough removed from the big Texas Cities, they were never removed from the national grid.   So the lights are still on, the water is still flowing and the stores are open and well stocked.  
    (TMay beat me to it!)
    (But, it does demonstrate that this was a very  avoidable disaster)

    But here's a philosophical question:
    Since Texas benefited for decades from escaping regulation and associated infrastructure spending, should they be granted the billions of dollars they are requesting the rest of us to send to them to restore their communities?   Total damages right now are estimated at $18B and climbing.
    Yes, I'm well aware that El Paso is on a different grid system, one that did the right thing and performed the actions necessary to increase the likelihood that their systems could survive weather conditions similar to those encountered a decade ago as well as having multiple/redundant sources of energy.

    I completely agree with your statement "When a person or group makes a stupid mistake that hurts society and they do nothing to correct it (or feel remorse) they need to be identified and held accountable." Doing the right thing should not exclusive to any organization or political party. If ERCOT had not been so grossly derelict and incompetent in their responsibilities, maybe putting substance behind the "R" in their name, nobody would be ragging on them. They totally dropped the ball. Allowing ERCOT to be exempt from prosecution and penalties for the damages that they caused would be an exercise in pure politics. 

    I have no problem with the federal government loaning money (at a non trivial interest rate) to allow ERCOT to restore their systems to full operation and prevent future disruptions. But I'd fully expect that they'd be required to pay back every penny of the loan with interest. Yeah, I'm assuming they'd pass the cost along to their customers, directly or indirectly, but if everyone in their system has been getting a discount up to this point by gambling against exactly the kind of disaster that occurred. People suffered and people died. It's no different that a plane crash due to faulty maintenance of the aircraft involved. ERCOT put its customers in a hazardous situation due to poor planning, incompetent preparation for known risks, and a total lack of a backup/contingency plan. 



  • Reply 12 of 12
    dewme said:
    dewme said:
    tyler82 said:
    mac_dog said:
    Maybe they could send them some batteries -- or ideas on how to build an electric grid.
    I’m sure they have plenty of ideas, but they don’t mean shit if it stalls at the government level. Both sides are so focused on politicizing everything, they forgot who they’re actually supposed to be working for. 
    Texas is Republican-run. In the 1930s the state disconnected from the national power grid so that energy companies didn't have to be regulated. These companies saved money by not winterizing their natural gas, coal, oil refineries, and windmills. These things operate just fine in northern countries like Canada, Norway, Finland, etc. But the Republican-run "don't mess with Texas" independent boot-straps utopia is now begging the federal govt for handouts, the same federal govt they continually turn their back against. Now their arrogance and stupidity has come back to frost-bite them.
    Putting the politics aside, what you said about the winterizing is right on. I’d also bet that many homes in Texas use heat pumps for heat, which revert to pure resistance heating coils (basically a giant toaster) in extreme cold conditions. This would put a huge load on electrical demand.

    The Texas city of El Paso actually did heed the warnings of the failure to winterize their equipment in the decade since Texas suffered a similar series of extreme (for TX) cold related power failures ten years ago and only experienced a tiny number of power losses over a brief time period this time around. More short term thinking at play here. It’s sad that the people of Texas had to suffer due to the ineptness of their leaders, but unfortunately that’s the way things go.

    Apple’s charity, along with similar efforts by other organizations and individuals, to help people in-need is certainly to be commended.

    Well, truth is not politics.   When a person or group makes a stupid mistake that hurts society and they do nothing to correct it (or feel remorse) they need to be identified and held accountable.

    But, other than that:  one minor correction:  El Paso is far enough removed from the big Texas Cities, they were never removed from the national grid.   So the lights are still on, the water is still flowing and the stores are open and well stocked.  
    (TMay beat me to it!)
    (But, it does demonstrate that this was a very  avoidable disaster)

    But here's a philosophical question:
    Since Texas benefited for decades from escaping regulation and associated infrastructure spending, should they be granted the billions of dollars they are requesting the rest of us to send to them to restore their communities?   Total damages right now are estimated at $18B and climbing.
    Yes, I'm well aware that El Paso is on a different grid system, one that did the right thing and performed the actions necessary to increase the likelihood that their systems could survive weather conditions similar to those encountered a decade ago as well as having multiple/redundant sources of energy.

    I completely agree with your statement "When a person or group makes a stupid mistake that hurts society and they do nothing to correct it (or feel remorse) they need to be identified and held accountable." Doing the right thing should not exclusive to any organization or political party. If ERCOT had not been so grossly derelict and incompetent in their responsibilities, maybe putting substance behind the "R" in their name, nobody would be ragging on them. They totally dropped the ball. Allowing ERCOT to be exempt from prosecution and penalties for the damages that they caused would be an exercise in pure politics. 

    I have no problem with the federal government loaning money (at a non trivial interest rate) to allow ERCOT to restore their systems to full operation and prevent future disruptions. But I'd fully expect that they'd be required to pay back every penny of the loan with interest. Yeah, I'm assuming they'd pass the cost along to their customers, directly or indirectly, but if everyone in their system has been getting a discount up to this point by gambling against exactly the kind of disaster that occurred. People suffered and people died. It's no different that a plane crash due to faulty maintenance of the aircraft involved. ERCOT put its customers in a hazardous situation due to poor planning, incompetent preparation for known risks, and a total lack of a backup/contingency plan. 




    Good Points!
    But, what was it that created the rather shaky foundation that ERCOT built its house on?   This exerpt from Reuters gives a hint:

    "ERCOT relies on a wholesale electricity market, where free market pricing provides incentives for generators to provide daily power and to make investments to ensure reliability in peak periods, according to economists. The system relied on the theory that power plants should make high profits when energy demand and prices soar - providing them ample money to make investments in, for example, winterization. The Texas legislature restructured the state’s electric market in 1999."

    -- Free market capitalism
    -- Trickle Down economics (excess profit trickles down to create safety valve systems)
    --  Rugged individualism (the "go it alone" strategy not mentioned in this piece)

    All three are good -- in some places and some of the time.   But they can also bite you when you least suspect it.

    Also, not mentioned in this piece is that Texas and the nation it is a part of needs to begin expecting and anticipating these major climate events and disruptions.   We not only know they will be coming, but they have been coming over the past several decades.

    The nation could and should use this as a wake up call to modernize our power systems:
    -- A completely inter connected smart power grid so an area with excess power can supply it where it is needed, when it is needed
    -- A system that rewards individual power generators (such as a house with solar panels) for supplying such power to the grid.
    -- A system that rewards power users for pushing high demands into off-peak periods to smooth out production and distribution.

    Like the internal combustion engine centric auto industry the U.S. power industry needs to progress beyond its 100 year old technology and infrastructure into the modern world.
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