The state of Texas has been battered by a winter storm that pushed the state's power grid to the brink of collapse and millions of residents submerged into darkness without electricity amid freezing temperatures.
As residents across Texas struggled with power outages, conspiracy theorists are floating a ridiculous claim that President Joe Biden is responsible for the natural phenomenon.
Biden's 'Dark Winter' Theory
A Facebook user and conspiracy theorist, Scott L. Biddle, shared a post claiming the Texas winter storm was a result of "weather manipulation and controlling the jet stream." As evidence, Biddle cited Biden's "Dark winter" quote from last year, claiming it was a prediction of things to come.
"Texas is the only state to have its own, entirely independent electric grid separate from the rest of the United States," he wrote. "This is warfare, an attack on Texas by altering the jet stream, seeding the clouds, and ultimately causing the storm that blacked out over 4 million people."
In a follow-up post, Biddle claimed Biden geo-engineered the storm and caused the power outages "under the guise of green energy" in order to control use "how much power you can use daily, weekly and monthly."
Biddle claimed the government used "cloud seeding" technology that is often used to produce moisture in drought-prone areas. This involves injecting particles into clouds to encourage water droplets to freeze around them and produce snow.
The Facebook user accompanied these claims with an image appearing to show "non-melting" and "powdery" snow. "REAL OR GEO-ENGINEERED "CLOUD SEEDED" SNOW FROM TEXAS?Since when does snow dry into hard chunks of powder?," he captioned the picture.
As pointed out by fact-checking website PolitiFact, Biden made the "dark winter" statement, which he made during the final presidential debate last fall, was in reference to the coronavirus pandemic and how it could worsen over the winter months as Americans travelled for the holidays and were forced to remain indoors due to the colder weather.
"We're still facing a very dark winter," he said at the time. "There are now nearly 10 million COVID cases in the United States." Biden was not predicting a winter storm - he was foreshadowing an increase of COVID-19 cases, which hit record highs in early January and February.
As far as the claim about Texas' power grid is concerned. In 1970, the state did create ERCOT - a private group that monitors the state's electric grid - to avoid federal government regulations. However, that does not mean the Biden administration manipulated the weather to attack Texas' energy infrastructure.
The winter storm first hit the Pacific Northwest around Feb. 12 and 13 before making its way to the Southwest and then hitting the central and southern plains. The storm resulted from a polar vortex that brought Arctic air from Canada to many parts of the United States.
A polar vortex is a large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding the Earth's poles. It weakens in the summer and strengthens in the winter, when the vortex expands and sends cold air southward with the jet stream - the product of strong winds created by Earth's rotation on its axis.