Texas


Snow covered Texas satellite Feb 15, 2021. NOAA

The Polar Vortex Has Killed 24 in Texas So Far. Who’s to Blame?

, climate scientist

As we watch most of the country being taken over by this polar vortex, we ponder whether climate change has anything to do with it, and if these extreme events will be more likely to happen in the future. We are transfixed at images coming from Texas, where the deep freeze took a hold of most of a state not used to it, and certainly not prepared for it. We hear about the energy outages, what caused them (and what didn’t), and what should be done to prepare for the next deep freeze.

However, when we think of that, the perspectives of people who are living through it all are an important component of the story that needs to be told.

My colleague Maegan Ramirez hails from El Paso and had a lot to say about the situation in Texas. I figured we should hear it in her own voice. Read more >

NOAA
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Power Outages in Texas and California Have Less in Common than You Think

, Energy analyst

Chances are that you’ve already heard about the ongoing power outages in Texas and other nearby states. If you haven’t gotten the message already, the situation is dire and totally unprecedented. In the midst of a historic cold snap, electricity demand has outstripped supply by a massive amount. Faced with no other choice, the electrical grid operator in Texas shut off power to millions of Texans early Monday morning, and many are still without power even now. Read more >

jayRaz/flickr
NWS Austin/San Antonio
Larry D. Moore/Wikimedia
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Photo: AWEA

How Big is Gridlock in our Electric Grid?

, Senior energy analyst

Progress in electric power, particularly the growth of renewable energy and consumer choice, is looking like gridlock.  Look closer and we can see three fundamental issues: state policy vs. federal policy; changing perspectives on reliability, and how electric grid planning should accommodate the ongoing transition to renewable energy. We even have gridlock in the appointment and continuity of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that oversees much of the decision making in these spaces.

Read more >

Photo: AWEA
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LadyDragonflyCC/Flickr

Fires in Texas Spark Interest in Chemical Safety

, Washington Representative

Watching the news last week as clouds of thick black smoke billowed over Houston, I worried about my family. They are surrounded by chemical plants. Hearing state and local officials saying there is no air quality issue, and then ordering everyone to “shelter in place” terrified me. In truth, the monitors either weren’t working or were under maintenance, and there didn’t seem to be an evacuation plan. Why not? The law requires one.

Read more >

LadyDragonflyCC/Flickr
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Photo: Yvette Arellano/TEJAS

Spectrum of Harm: Ripple Effects of Trump’s Macabre Environmental Policies

The Trump administration continues to draw a shroud over environmental protections. The results have real-world consequences. Read more >

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