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Houston mayor: Biden visit ‘would not be a distraction’

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) said Sunday he did not believe a visit to Texas by President Biden would be a “distraction” after winter storms devastated the state’s energy grid.

“We certainly would welcome him and he would not be a distraction, [nor] a burden,” Turner said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

The mayor told CBS’ Margaret Brennan that the city’s areas of greatest need involved restoring plumbing infrastructure affected by the winter weather.

“With so many homes across the city having pipes that burst because of the frigid weather, and major leaks, major water damage, we need a lot of plumbing materials and supplies right now. We have a number of licensed plumbers but could use even more,” he said.

Turner went on to fault the state’s self-contained energy grid, which was not winterized against such conditions, for much of the fallout.

“All of what happened this past week was foreseeable and preventable,” Turner said, noting that as a state legislator he had introduced an unsuccessful bill a decade ago requiring the state’s public utility agency to ensure adequate reserves.

“Our system in Texas is designed primarily for the summer heat and not necessarily a winter event… the reality is climate change is real and these major storms can happen at any time,” he said. “The system needs to be weatherized, we need to maintain adequate reserves and we need to open up our Texas grid. Right now we have a closed grid, we can’t get generation from outside the state because of our system.”

Tags Houston Joe Biden Sylvester Turner

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File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
File - A Chevrolet Bolt is displayed at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Jan. 27, 2023, in Philadelphia. Electric vehicles are far less reliable than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, mainly because most automakers are still learning how to build a completely new power system, according to this year's auto reliability survey by Consumer Reports.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)
In this photo released by the Governor of Sevastopol, Mikhail Razvozhayev telegram channel, a rescuer gestures as he helps people during an evacuation after storm and flooding in Sevastopol, Crimea, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. A storm in the Black Sea took down power grids and left almost half a million people without power after it flooded roads, ripped up trees and damaged buildings in Crimea, Russian state news agency Tass said. (Governor of Sevastopol Mikhail Razvozhayev's telegram channel via AP)

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