Non-renewable energy was used to move frozen wind turbines back online in Texas during last month’s deep freeze, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.
An unprecedented winter storm in the southern U.S. state knocked out half of its wind power as well as natural gas and coal capacities. Pundits and state officials said that iced-over wind turbines were exclusively to blame for leaving millions of Texans without power and drinking water, a theory that experts say is misleading.
Putin, whose country is a leading fossil fuel producer, cited Texas as a lesson for how Russia should approach the development of its energy-rich regions.
“Texas froze when it was cold,” Putin said during a videoconference with coal industry leaders.
“They had to use methods that are a far cry from environmental protection to warm the windmills up,” he said.
Putin said the case underscores the need for Russia to “carefully study every possible scenario to ensure the steady growth of our coal-mining regions.”
The Kremlin previously pointed to the Texas power outages when reacting to the Biden administration’s purported plans to place sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline carrying natural gas to Germany.
Putin has regularly criticized global green energy initiatives, despite Russia being a signatory of the Paris climate agreement, saying solar and wind power could “send humanity to caves.”
He has also blamed wind turbines for bird deaths and causing “worms to come out of the soil.”