Texas utility commission chair raises threat of summer power outages and pushes for more gas-powered electricity
Public Utility Commission Chair Peter Lake said renewable energy could be critical to preventing power outages this summer. Renewable energy supporters said the grid’s reliability doesn’t hinge on wind and solar.
State agency that oversees Texas power grid needs more money to do its job, Sunset Commission finds
The Public Utility Commission has about 200 employees but needs more to handle shoring up the state power grid and tackling an expanded list of regulatory duties, according to the state Sunset Advisory Commission.
Texas lawmakers ask state agency to delay power market redesign until after 2023 legislative session
In a Monday committee hearing, lawmakers questioned whether a Public Utility Commission proposal to redesign Texas’ electricity market would lead to the building of more natural-gas-fired power plants. Regulators say it would.
Gov. Greg Abbott touts Texas power grid’s readiness heading into fall, election season
The governor shared the favorable forecast — which is normal for the fall months — ahead of a competitive race in which the grid’s performance during last year’s fatal winter storm may factor into Texans’ decisions at the polls.
“He has total veto power”: Greg Abbott takes control over who will lead Texas’ troubled power grid, sources say
Locked in a potentially tight reelection race and facing criticism over the grid’s 2021 collapse, the governor is exerting unprecedented influence over what the state grid operator shares with the public — and who will be its next CEO.
Analysis: A power test for Texas voters
After last winter’s near-statewide electric blackouts, Texas lawmakers went after regulators they deemed responsible but tiptoed around the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates oil and gas. Now voters have a chance, if they want it, to send the state a message.
Texas could connect to national power grids without losing autonomy, former grid regulator says
Texas has long refused to connect its decentralized grid to two national power networks, but Hunt Energy Network CEO Pat Wood said the state could do so without additional oversight — and without state Legislature approval.
A year after the electric grid failed, Texas focuses on reliability, not climate change
Transitioning sources of electricity to cleaner fuels is one of the best tools humanity has to fight climate change — which brings severe weather that taxes the grid. But a year after the winter storm, Texas leaders aren’t talking about decarbonizing.
Analysis: Betting a Texas election on a weather forecast
Gov. Greg Abbott says he can "guarantee" there won't be blackouts this winter in Texas after one that knocked out power for some people for four days last February. That's the kind of pre-election prediction that can make a weather forecaster more useful than a political poll.
Texas grid vulnerable to blackouts during severe winter weather, even with new preparations, ERCOT estimates show
The most severe scenario considered by ERCOT for this winter — very high demand for power, extensive fossil fuel outages, and low renewable power production — does not capture the amount of power lost during February.
Power companies required to better prepare plants for winter in first phase of rule approved by Texas regulators
The state Public Utility Commission adopted a rule — which experts first recommended a decade ago following a winter storm — requiring power companies to use “best efforts” to ensure plants can operate in the winter.
Oil industry helped handpick members of Texas advisory group for electric grid reliability, emails show
Oil and gas industry groups provided a list of names to the Railroad Commission for appointment to a council formed in response to the February power crisis. All four of the industry's top choices were selected.
Texas regulators want to prepare the state’s electricity grid for extreme weather. But that’s a moving target in a warming world.
The state plans to use past weather data to craft rules for power plant upgrades. Scientists warn that the accelerating effects of climate change make relying on old data alone insufficient.
ERCOT will have to release information about power plant outages quicker — but it may not detail what causes them
The Public Utility Commission said the state's main power grid operator will have three days — instead of 60 — to release some information about power plant outages. But that may not include why the electricity generators were offline.
Everyday Texans overlooked in state lawmakers' response to power outages during winter storm
While lawmakers took significant steps toward preventing another blackout, hardly any of the proposals passed during this legislative session will aid consumers in recovering from the February storm — but they’ll see higher utility bills.
Texas Legislature close to approving billions to pay for winter storm financial fallout
Several billions of dollars in state-approved financing will be necessary to stabilize the state’s distressed energy market after the winter storm. Texas approves more in finance bailouts for its utilities than any other state.
Gov. Greg Abbott nominates new chair to Public Utility Commission after power crisis resignations
Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday named Peter Lake the new chair of the Texas Public Utility Commission, the public board that regulates the state’s power grid operators and saw all three of its members resign in the wake of February’s deadly winter storm.
There’s no one left on Texas’ Public Utility Commission after final board member resigns at Gov. Greg Abbott’s request
Public Utility Commission Chair Arthur D’Andrea has resigned, Gov. D'Andrea was the only remaining member of the three-seat commission that regulates the state's electric, telecommunication and water and sewer utilities. The other two commissioners, including the chair at the time, DeAnn Walker, had resigned in recent weeks over fallout related to last month's winter storm. "Tonight, I asked for and accepted the resignation of PUC Commissioner Arthur D’Andrea," the governor said in a statement, adding that he plans to name "a replacement in the coming days who will have the responsibility of charting a new and fresh course for the agency." “Texans deserve to have trust and confidence in the Public Utility Commission, and this action is one of many steps that will be taken to achieve that goal,” Abbott said.