March 31 — The Texas Senate on Monday unanimously approved a sweeping bill that would overhaul the state’s electricity industry and infrastructure, including mandating that power plants prepare for extreme weather and outlawing risky indexed retail electric plans.
April 5 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas has approved a 306-MW natural gas-fired generator for commercial operation, and another 1.1 GW of solar, wind and battery capacity entered the final stages before commercial operation, a new report shows, but additions for this summer may be light.
April 5 — Electricity prices will likely rise in the third and fourth quarters of the year for some electric companies. There are several programs to help cover bills.
April 5 — While some argue the state should rollback its artificially high peak electricity rates, others, including Governor Greg Abbott and House Speaker, seem to want stay the course and not give rate payers a helping hand.
Texas Tribune: When the power went out, Texas oil and gas regulators rushed to defend the industry’s image
April 5 –Members of the Texas Railroad Commission were quick to blame renewable energy for power outages across the state. All sources of energy struggled to produce power during the storm.
Austin American-Statesman: City still assessing Austin Energy’s response to Texas winter storms
April 3 — Reflecting on the utility’s efforts to keep online the three natural gas plants it owns in the Austin area, Austin Energy’s Jack Borsch likened it to a football game. The game plan, he said, appeared to be sound entering the storm, only to be disrupted by one unforeseen event after another,
April 2 — Christi Craddick sat in her Austin office March 24, facing more than a dozen congressmen via livestream. The members of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee were eager to learn what had gone so wrong in Texas that the electric grid had failed, leaving 4.5 million households and businesses without power, during the February winter storm that other states weathered with little disruption. Her voice as steady as a freight train, the chairman of the Railroad Commission, which regulates the Texas oil and gas industry, steadfastly pointed her finger elsewhere: production of natural gas, which was used to generate more than half the electricity used in Texas last year, struggled during the storm because producers fell victim to regulators’ decisions to order blackouts across the state. “The oil fields simply cannot run without power, making energy the best winterization tool,” she said.
Bloomberg: Texas Governor Names New Head of Embattled Utility Regulator
April 1 — Texas Governor Greg Abbott tapped a statehouse veteran to manage the ongoing fallout from February’s massive blackouts, a job that will include implementing a potential legislative overhaul of the state’s power markets.
WFAA: Atmos Energy faces record $1.6M in fines for 2018 Dallas explosion that killed 12-year-old ‘Michellita’ Rogers
April 1 — Texas regulators have proposed a record $1.6 million in fines against Atmos Energy Corp. for alleged safety violations prior to three gas-related incidents, including a fatal explosion that killed a 12-year-old “Michellita” Rogers.
Texas Observer: Texas Activists Took Their Fight Against a Natural Gas Project Abroad—And They’re Winning
April 1 — The Texas Railroad Commission’s about-face on natural gas flaring can be partially linked to pressure from European companies concerned about Texas’ dirty gas.
April 1 — As millions of Texans went without power for days during February’s devastating storm, Texas oil and gas regulators were circulating talking points from a noted climate skeptic blaming system failures on the state’s embrace of wind and solar energy, emails obtained by NBC News show.
March 31 –On Wednesday, the members of the House of Representatives gave final approval to a group of bills to address the energy crisis caused by Winter Storm Uri, including House Bill 10 that ensures the board members of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) live in Texas.
March 31 — In the Dallas community of Deep Ellum, there was Leobardo Sanchez, also known as the “Cotton Candy Man” because he sold cotton candy throughout the neighborhood. Whether you had a sweet tooth or not, those who knew him say it wasn’t hard for Sanchez to put a smile on your face. Unfortunately, Sanchez died during the freeze. His body was found wrapped under blankets in his home. A Dallas attorney says that’s a sign that he was trying to stay warm the best way he knew how, but it didn’t work.