The centerpiece of gubernatorial candidate Beto O’Rourke’s Keeping the Lights On Tour is highlighting last year’s disastrous winter storm and Governor Greg Abbott’s controversial response, but it was still all warmth and sunshine at the Denton stop of the tour on Sunday.
This could’ve easily thrown a wrench in the Democrat’s prepared remarks. Despite several months of O'Rourke's campaigning on preventing another blackout, this year’s winter weather proved to be a nonevent as far as the power grid was concerned. So far this year, the state’s power grid appears to have met the power demands of residents as trepidation of another rolling blackout lingered in people’s minds.
A counterprotest took place near the rally by a handful of conservatives, who shouted “Let’s go Brandon” and “Secure our border” as O’Rourke delivered remarks from his (literal) soapbox. The Dallas Morning News reported that the event was scheduled by State Rep. Jared Patterson under the name “Save Texas Energy Jobs.” Patterson works in the energy sector for Carrollton-based Rapid Power Management.
While O’Rourke’s speech did partially rehash last year’s power outage and resulting casualties, including the story of a Dallas man who suffered from frostbite and had his legs amputated after last year’s storm, he shifted the narrative to instead focus on alleged corruption on the incumbent administration’s part, including accusing officials of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.
Sunny day notwithstanding, the doom and gloom of Winter Storm Uri’s memory prevailed at the event.