Bexar County Emergency Operations Center has all hands on deck during Thursday’s winter weather
All hands were on deck Thursday at the Bexar County Emergency Operations Center as they prepared for winter weather. The on-site team said they are not taking anything for granted and although they are not anticipating any high impact weather situations, they are prepared.
ERCOT names new, temporary leader two months after deadly winter storm
The board overseeing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the independent nonprofit entity that operates and manages the electricity grid that covers much of Texas, named former executive Brad Jones on Tuesday to be interim president and CEO.
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.
Texas lawmakers want to prevent another power crisis. But the legislation doesn’t go far enough to do that, critics say
Lawmakers are trying to prevent another power grid failure like the one that occurred during last month’s deadly winter storm. (Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune)Both the Texas Senate and House have written bills that attempt to prevent another massive power failure in extreme temperatures. House Bill 11, sponsored by State Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall, was part of a package of bills that the lower chamber preliminarily approved Tuesday. “It doesn’t go far enough to truly protect Texans from the next winter weather calamity,” Jacoby said during a committee hearing on the bill on March 18. “Under this definition of an extreme weather emergency, these mandates would not apply,” Jacoby said during the committee meeting.
Almost 70% of ERCOT customers lost power during winter storm, study finds
As the updated death toll from February’s winter storm reached 111 deaths last week, the severity of its full force has continued to come into focus. AdThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas manages the state’s main power grid, which represents 90% of Texas’ electric load and serves more than 26 million customers, according to the agency. Black Texans were “modestly more likely” to have lost power than white Texans, according to the study. The company wants lawmakers to create a revenue stream to Berkshire through an additional charge on Texans’ power bills. Ad“In 2011, when we were asking questions about that winter storm, we were receiving promises and commitments that winterization would occur so that sort of thing wouldn't happen again,” he said.
At least 111 people died in Texas during winter storm, most from hypothermia
At least 111 Texans died during the winter storm, according to state health officials. (Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune)At least 111 Texans died as a result of last month’s winter storm, according to updated numbers released Thursday by the state Department of State Health Services. Health officials will continue to update their preliminary findings weekly. February’s winter storm blanketed large swaths of Texas in snow and ice and left millions without power or clean water for days in below-freezing temperatures. The company wants lawmakers to create a revenue stream to Berkshire through an additional charge on Texans’ power bills.
About 4,300 cold-stunned turtles survived the Texas freeze
Thousands of Atlantic green sea turtles and Kemp's ridley sea turtles suffering from cold stun are laid out to recover Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 at the South Padre Island Convention Center on South Padre Island, Texas. It's been the largest cold-stunning event for sea turtles recorded in the U.S. since the network was established in 1980. AdWhen water temperatures drop below about 50 degrees (10 degrees Celsius), sea turtles become lethargic and are unable to swim. Some of the cold-stunned sea turtles had other problems as well, including hook infections and injuries from boats, Knight said. Almost all of the rescued sea turtles were green turtles, Schroeder said.
Texas’ natural gas and power generators would have to prepare for extreme temperatures under bill Senate committee approved
A bill that would overhaul Texas’ energy industry — including mandating weatherization for natural gas and power generators — was approved by a Texas Senate committee on Thursday. Many power generators and gas companies were ill-suited for the freezing temperatures in February, which led gas pipelines to freeze and power transmission to falter. AdA Texas House committee earlier this month passed a similar weatherization bill. “I’m convinced that we’re making a big mistake by attacking a problem that isn’t a problem, just because we feel like it is a problem.”Earlier this month, the state Senate scrambled to pass Senate Bill 2142. Dan Patrick, who leads the Texas Senate, called for the resignation of its three members in the aftermath of the winter storm.
Congress questions Texas officials about power grid failure
Congress is looking into the cause of the power blackouts across Texas last month. A House panel planned to hear Wednesday, March 24, 2021, from officials who oversee the state's energy industry and electric grid. (AP Photo/LM Otero File)DALLAS – Congress is looking into last month’s massive and deadly power outages across Texas and questioning officials who oversee the state’s energy industry and electric grid. After outages in February 2011, Robb’s group recommended that Texas power plants needed better protection against winter storms. AdHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner said the Texas grid was designed for peak summer heat, and policymakers wrongly believed that the 2011 severe winter storm was an anomaly.
CPS Energy accuses natural gas suppliers of price gouging during winter storm, files lawsuits
CPS Energy CEO says the company is facing $1 billion in charges after winter stormSAN ANTONIO – CPS Energy has filed lawsuits against many of its natural gas suppliers for “unlawful and unconscionable price gouging” during the February winter storm. According to a news release, certain natural gas suppliers charged CPS Energy up to 15,000% more for natural gas. The utility said the price hike came during a time when 52% of the electricity generated was from natural gas. CPS Energy claims that Comstock Resources, a natural gas producer from Texas, stated that the natural gas prices they were able to charge during the winter storm were “…like hitting the jackpot...” the release said. That is essentially what happened with natural gas prices during the storm.
Applying for FEMA winter storm aid? Here’s how the agency’s virtual inspections work.
Figueroa said people can apply for FEMA assistance online or by phone if their insurance didn’t cover all damages or if they don’t have insurance. AdFigueroa is reminding people that FEMA aid does not cover the following:Food lossInsurance deductiblesElectricity and water bills. Once you for disaster assistance, make sure you save the nine digit pin code you are given. To get more information or apply for assistance, visit the FEMA disaster assistance website or call 1-800-621-3362. AdAfter applying, you may stay on DisasterAssistance.gov to create a personal online disaster assistance account to stay in touch with FEMA.
Did employers resume hiring after rough winter weather?
Did employers resume hiring after rough winter weather? After disappointing, weather-related readings during the past few months, the jobs report for March should see a return to the trend before the polar vortex hit the U.S. Jill Schlesinger has that story and more in her look at the week ahead in business.cbsnews.com