Mitchell Ferman
Mitchell Ferman
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Despite natural gas failures during winter storm, Texas lawmakers target renewable energy in the aftermath

Despite natural gas failures during winter storm, Texas lawmakers target renewable energy in the aftermath

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Texas lawmakers have been advancing to address some of the major issues stemming from February’s and . But some of the legislative moves are targeting renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, which experts and some lawmakers say seems more like a way to protect oil and gas interests than fix problems with the state’s .Tucked into , which , is a key provision that would shift the financial burden of ancillary services, which help ensure power is generated continuously to Texas’ main electricity grid,...

Apr 19
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Severe weather this summer could cause another Texas power crisis

Severe weather this summer could cause another Texas power crisis

Electricity outages in Texas could occur again this summer — just a few months after the devastating winter storm that left millions of Texans without power for days — if the state experiences a severe heat wave or drought combined with high demand for power, according to recent assessments by the state’s grid operator.Experts and company executives are warning that the power grid that covers most of the state is at risk of another crisis this summer, when demand for electricity typically peaks as homes and businesses crank up air conditioning to ride out the Texas heat. Texas is likely to...

Apr 15
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When the power went out, Texas oil and gas regulators rushed to defend the industry’s image

When the power went out, Texas oil and gas regulators rushed to defend the industry’s image

When the power went out for Marsha Hendler on Feb. 15, she rushed to her downtown San Antonio office to ride out the winter storm. Thankful to find the electricity and heat still on, she typed out an email to the elected officials who regulate her small, independent oil and gas company.“I strongly urge you to make public statements, to develop a PR program around our current energy conditions,” Hendler wrote at 2 p.m. that day to the three members of the Texas Railroad Commission, according to an email obtained by The Texas Tribune and ProPublica. “Assure citizens that blending oil and gas...

Apr 5
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Gov. Greg Abbott names former aide to retired House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to post regulating power grid

Gov. Greg Abbott names former aide to retired House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to post regulating power grid

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Gov. on Thursday named Will McAdams, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Texas and a former aide at the Texas Capitol, to the board of the Public Utility Commission.This is the governor's first nomination to the board of the agency that oversees the state's power grid after all three of the previous board members resigned in the aftermath of February's deadly power outages that left millions without electricity in subfreezing temperatures.McAdams will need to be confirmed by the state...

Apr 1
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Texas lawmakers want to prevent another power crisis. But the legislation doesn't go far enough to do that, critics say

Texas lawmakers want to prevent another power crisis. But the legislation doesn't go far enough to do that, critics say

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Both the Texas Senate and House have written bills that attempt to prevent another massive power failure in extreme temperatures. But parts of their legislative proposals are drawing criticism for not going far enough to prepare electricity infrastructure for increased risks posed by climate change.And critics are also wary that some measures would leave enforcement of the mandated upgrades to the Public Utility Commission without increasing its funding or resources to do the job., sponsored by State Rep....

Mar 31
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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick spars with last remaining Public Utility Commission member over readjusting energy prices during winter storm

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick spars with last remaining Public Utility Commission member over readjusting energy prices during winter storm

​In an unusual move, Republican Lt. Gov. joined a senate committee hearing Thursday evening for nearly a half hour to question the chairperson of the Texas utility regulator who was appointed by GOP Gov. .Patrick recounted a recent phone call he had with Public Utility Commission Chair Arthur D’Andrea, whom Patrick and other senators have asked to retroactively reduce the market price for power during the deadly winter storm. D'Andrea and the PUC have declined to do so, citing unforeseen consequences of meddling in an electricity market that has already been settled.“You said you agreed...

Mar 11
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Texas lawmakers plan slate of bills in response to power outages, but experts skeptical there will be meaningful change

Texas lawmakers plan slate of bills in response to power outages, but experts skeptical there will be meaningful change

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Texas House Speaker on Monday announced seven priority bills responding to the widespread power outages last month that left dozens of Texans dead and millions without power.The proposals include “weatherizing” the state’s energy infrastructure to protect it from extreme weather, creating a statewide alert system for impending extreme events and improving communication between state agencies to better coordinate during disasters.Lawmakers are also seeking to reform the governance structure of the state’s...

Mar 8
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Texas will not fix ERCOT's $16 billion power billing mistake

Texas will not fix ERCOT's $16 billion power billing mistake

Texas’ utility regulator had an opportunity Friday to eliminate some of the $16 billion that the state’s erroneously overcharged power companies during last month’s deadly winter storm — but the board of the Public Utility Commission chose not to do so.Some Texas electricity customers could have benefited from a decision to readjust the electricity market prices for the week of the storm, according to PUC Chair Arthur D’Andrea and some independent analysts. But other customers could have been harmed by such a move, D’Andrea said.“I totally get how it looks like you’re protecting consumers...

Mar 5
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Texas will not fix ERCOT’s $16 billion power billing mistake

Texas will not fix ERCOT’s $16 billion power billing mistake

AUSTIN () — Texas’ utility regulator had an opportunity Friday to eliminate some of the $16 billion that the state’s  erroneously overcharged power companies during last month’s deadly winter storm — but the board of the Public Utility Commission chose not to do so.Some Texas electricity customers could have benefited from a decision to readjust the electricity market prices for the week of the storm, according to PUC Chair Arthur D’Andrea and some independent analysts. But other customers could have been harmed by such a move, D’Andrea said.“I totally get how it looks like you’re...

Mar 5
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Texas bill to block COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employers failed in Legislature after business groups rallied against it

Texas bill to block COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employers failed in Legislature after business groups rallied against it

, our daily newsletter that keeps readers up to speed on the most essential Texas news.Bills intended to block any Texas entity, including hospitals and private businesses, from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees failed to pass the Texas Legislature before lawmakers adjourned the third special legislative session early Tuesday morning.Signs that the legislation was in trouble came early as business groups spoke out against the proposals. Even though the issue had been added to the session agenda as a late priority by Gov. , the House's version of the bill was unable to muster enough...

Oct 18
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