David Brown

Texas Standard: March 1, 2021

As March rolls in, the effects of the February winter storm continue to ripple across rural Texas. We’ll have a conversation with local officials. Also, a new month, the rent is due, and the home is still a wreck broken pipes, to water damage and worse. Any of this sound familiar? What are your rights? We’ll get answers from an expert. Also a new COVID-19 vaccine gets federal approval. What it means for Texans waiting to get the shot. And the state’s biggest university temporarily waves the SAT and ACT requirement. The shape of longer-term things to come in higher ed? And Texas researchers connect the dots on dinosaur extinction. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 26, 2021

The deregulated electric market was set up to save money for Texas consumers. So why did Texans end up paying $28 billion more? That story coming up on the Texas Standard.
A Wall Street Journal analysis shows the Texas electrical grid not only failed during the storm, but failed consumers for decades by leading to higher bills. We’ll hear what happened and why. Plus the latest on hearings by Texas lawmakers.
With a disaster declaration in Texas, what comes next? The nuts and bolts of accessing federal aid.
The University of Texas RGV in hot water for turning away eligible people seeking vaccines.
Plus the week in Texas politics and much more.

Texas Standard: February 25, 2021

After days of finger pointing and demands for accountability, hearings get underway at the Texas Capitol to get the the bottom of last weeks outages. We’ll have the latest. Also, details from the governor’s statewide address last night on what comes next as Texans demand answers in the wake of last week, and solutions to prevent such failures in the future. And what Texas can learn from Australia when it comes to massive power outages and the politics of renewable energy. Plus a federal judge puts an indefinite hold on President Biden’s attempts to freeze deportations at the border. The implications plus much today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 24, 2021

As Governor Abbott prepares for a statewide televised address on the blackouts, many wonder why they haven’t heard more from him before now. Rapid fallout from the blackout of 2021 already happening, as 5 ERCOT board members say they’ll tender their resignations. We’ll have the latest. Also more on the implications of last weeks blackout in the fight against COVID-19. And could last weeks disaster actually lead to changes in labor laws? A labor historian on what history tells us about past patterns. Plus commentator W.F. Strong rethinks his list of Texas-themed tunes, a Politifact check of Beto O’Rourke and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 23, 2021

After a death from hypothermia, a Conroe family among the many filing suit against Texas electric grid manager. But can ERCOT be sued? Under the doctrine of sovereign immunity, a governmental entity cannot be sued without its consent. But ERCOT, a private non-profit corporation, claims it is protected too. What’s behind the claims and counterclaims mounting across the Lone Star State? Also, could technology embraced during the pandemic lead to and end to snow days for schools across Texas?Plus another lingering effect of the storm, the rise of so-called Buy Nothing groups. All those stories and a whole lot more coming up today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 22, 2021

Stop right there: an order from the public utility commission to put the brakes on outrageous power bills after the winter storm. As lawmakers step in to get answers to ongoing questions about who and what’s to blame for the meltdown in utilities statewide, another long term ripple effect looms: the impact to Texas’s reputation. We’ll hear more. Also hurricanes, pandemic, then a winter storm… what compounding natural disasters can do to mental health in Texas, and what to look out for, yourself. Plus with the power back on for most, many Texans still dealing with water issues. We’ll have expert advice on tap and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 19, 2021

Getting power back? Priceless. Losing power and heat and water and basic services? What price the winter storm of 2021? Coming up, the high price of being unprepared. Economist Ray Perryman on the difficulty calculating the impact of this week’s storm. Also, who should shoulder the costs of weatherizing power plants? According to the governor, it’s the taxpayer. We’ll hear more. And with power coming back and a lot of water damage its not too soon think about your own next steps: tips for talking to the insurance company, and a massive rescue of fellow Texas residents… But where do you shelter almost 5 thousand sea turtles? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 18, 2021

What did ERCOT know and when did they know it? As millions of Texans still struggle with power outages pressure builds for clear answers. Members of Congress among others demanding straightforward explanations for the collapse of the power grid and uneven distribution of so-called rolling blackouts that left many in the dark and cold for days. Compounding matters, sources for safe water drying up in several parts of Texas as supplies are shut off to deal with cracked pipes and treatment issues. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 17, 2021

It was set up to be an electrical island independent from a national power network. Cold comfort for millions of Texans right now. With a winter storm leading to rolling blackouts leaving more than 4 million Texans in the cold, the nonprofit deigned to manage the state’s power grid finds itself getting sudden national notoriety, as angry Texans demand answers. What is ERCOT, and who’s really at the switch behind this current power crisis? As the Lone Star State anticipates a thaw, things heat up between electricity providers and lawmakers now calling for investigations. The latest on the winter storm and its many ripple effects today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 16, 2021

Emergency efforts at restoring power continue across Texas as millions try to make do without electricity during an historic winter storm. The whole state of Texas affected by power outages, but not equally. Questions mount over the state’s electricity grid management, as much of Texas hunkers down for a second round of frozen precipitation and low digit temperatures. We’ll have the latest. Also, understanding the latest controversy over the national anthem at sports events. And voices of hope, faith and endurance in danger of being lost to history, an effort to rescue priceless Black gospel recordings. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 15, 2021

As the temperatures fall, along with precipitation, millions of Texans stranded or worse by winter weather. Coming up, conversations with reporters from across Texas on how Texans are weathering conditions that have brought large parts of the state to a standstill. Also, missing out on the vaccine but getting something else instead: scammed. A report from Houston. Plus a major disconnect with rural Texas: concerns that a lack of broadband is leaving some Texas towns far behind. And new efforts to reunite families separated by U.S. immigration policies. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 9, 2021

An historic trial in the senate as the second impeachment of Donald Trump gets underway. We’ll look at the mechanics of the process and Texas’ role. Also, he was a newspaper columnist who became well known in North Texas politics and eventually- a U.S. congressman. More on the passing of Ron Wright and what comes next. And thousands of dollars for a single COVID-19 test? Lawmakers being asked to look into charges at freestanding ERs. We’ll also hear from a woman who made it her mission to deliver free fruits and veggies to communities with fewer healthy options. During this pandemic, her deliveries now more crucial than ever. All of that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 8, 2021

As the White House prepares for new directives in border enforcement, Texas democratic lawmakers push for immigrant rights changes.Coming up, our conversation with Texas representative Mary Gonzales on how democrats in the Texas legislature plan to press colleagues over immigration rights. Also in a part of Texas that’s long complained of air pollution and a lack of official response, communities are banding together to get things done. We’ll have a report from Houston. And oil demand still down, so way are gasoline prices on the rise? Plus a new Juneteenth mural that promises to be more than just a work of art. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 5, 2021

A new University of Houston Survey reveals a canyon in Texas separating the two parties over election fraud. In addition to those findings: fully a third of all Texans say they would not accept a COVID-19 vaccination. Kirk Watson of the Hobby School joins us to talk about the findings. Also, Elon Musk fighting gravitational forces in south Texas where its SpaceX vs the FAA. And how Texas is making an appearance of sorts in this weekends Super Bowl, the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 4, 2021

Beto for senate, Beto for President…now Beto for governor? What may be shaping into a high profile challenge to governor Greg Abbott. Evan smith, CEO of the Texas Tribune on the possibility of an Abbott vs Beto battle for the top office in Texas. Also not all vaccine rollouts in Texas are created equal. Just ask the folks in Amarillo where there’s no online signup, and people from other states are coming to get vaccinated. We’ll have a revealing picture from the panhandle. And amid jokes about coping with the isolation of pandemic, no laughing matter for people struggling with substance use. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 3, 2021

New executive orders on asylum seekers and family separation policies at the border get a lukewarm reception from advocates for change. President Biden orders an official review of the remain in Mexico policies. Some are asking why not just change the policy? Also COVID-19 and the double squeeze on nonprofits. More demand for their services, but less money to provide those services… We’ll explore. And the governor’s call for legislation to further restrict abortion access in Texas. Are republican lawmakers hoping for a fight in the high court? Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 2, 2021

It was billed as a State of the State address. But a closer reading might reveal the not-to-subtle start of a new campaign season in Texas. We’ll break down governor Greg Abbott’s 5 emergency items. Also the latest on bottlenecks in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the Lone Star State. And rural Texas, disconnected? A state lawmaker warns funding cuts could cut off internet and phone service for many sparsely populated parts of Texas. Plus a new opening for transmigrantes and how that could create new opportunities and new dangers at the border. Those stories and more today on the Texas standard:

Texas Standard: February 1, 2021

What is the state of the state of Texas? The Governor lays out his plans for the legislature in a statewide address. We’ll have a preview. Also, could senator Ted Cruz get disbarred? A push by his critics following the January 6th riots at the capitol. And what do do with an unwanted byproduct of Texas’ wind power industry. Also, you’ve heard of crypto currency. What about crypto-art? We’ll hear about the Texas choral group betting big on blockchain. And the Houston doctor and conservative activist who’s been making political waves in Texas since the 80’s: just who is Steven Hotze? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 29, 2021

Could you draw a map of the state of Texas? Try drawing the political maps. This year, it promises to be tougher than ever. As redistricting begins in Texas, what to look for in what is likely to be another highly contentious process. Also, are you having trouble getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Many are. Our own Terri Langford set out to try to navigate the journey to get vaccinated in Texas, and it wasn’t pretty. We’ll hear what she learned firsthand. And the story of a Texas-based video game store stock that rocked Wall Street: a morality tale? The truths not quite so simple. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: January 28, 2021

As the governor announces a plan to get more COVID-19 vaccines to rural Texas, a major urban county could be reaching a vaccination milestone. El Paso is fast approaching vaccination levels of 10 percent, though it’s a trade off that could leave many in areas hardest hit by the virus without being vaccinated. That story coming up. Also, the impediments to getting vaccines to people in more rural parts of the Lone Star State. Speaking of: president Biden under growing pressure to do more at the federal level to reach out to help rural communities nationwide. And is tech trendsetter Elon Musk getting into the Texas gas biz? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard: