ERCOT

The latest on Texas’ winter freeze

As temperatures plummet with a major cold front bearing down on the lone star state, down into the teens in many parts, we continue to monitor conditions across Texas. Eric Berge of Houston’s Space City Weather joins us with an overview, the dangers ahead, and when we can expect to thaw out from this last big chill of 2022. Also a rethink of ways to address the mental health crisis. And the week in politics with the Texas Tribune. These stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

KUT Morning Newscast for December 20, 2022

Central Texas top stories for December 20, 2022. Power grid ready for low temperatures. Cold weekend ahead. Austin ISD budget. Williamson County healthcare cost offset.

The Campaign

Nearly two years after the big blackout in Texas, how big of an issue is the power grid in the 2022 race for governor?

We talk with Julian Aguilar, a reporter for the Texas Newsroom.

The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Midnight Connection

We’ve already learned how Texas (or at least most of it) is an energy island — mostly cut off from grids in other states.

In this episode, we’ll hear about the time when one power company went rogue and threw a transmission line across the Oklahoma border.

This is the story of why they tried and how they failed to build a bridge off the island — and how it shaped the Texas grid today.

The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

BONUS: The Megawatt We Don’t Use

We’ve talked about the supply-side fixes — but what about the demand side?

The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Texas Standard: August 31, 2022

18 months after a deadly statewide electricity blackout, state officials adopt new weather preparedness standards. But is it enough? We’ll look at what the new rules are and whether they have the teeth to prevent future events like the 2021 Winter Blackouts. Also, El Paso’s DA under fire and facing a petition seeking her removal. But she calls it a political move. Plus drug cartels in Mexico shifting production to an unusually lethal synthetic opioid that has health officials in the U.S. concerned about an overdose crisis. Those stories, a Politifact check on teacher salaries and more today on the Texas Standard:

The Fixes

A year and a half after the blackout, lots of Texans are still wondering if they can rely on the power grid. After conservation alerts and one pretty close call this summer, it can seem like the grid is still on a knife’s edge. We look at what’s changed, what hasn’t and how that lack of trust is playing out in one Texan’s life.

The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Texas Standard: August 5, 2022

Monkeypox declared a public health emergency nationwide. We’ll talk with the state epidemiologist about what Texans need to know. Other stories we’re covering: after the Dobbs decision, more than 100 military installations in states where abortion is now banned. What this means for service members seeking abortion care. And as temps hover in the triple digits across much of Texas, the new season of a podcast examines whether the power grid can stand the strain. Mose Buchele, host of the disconnect, joins us. And a Texas based band garnering international attention for its Texas-themed tales of a “Bummer Year”. A conversation with the frontman of the band Good Looks and more today on the Texas Standard:

The Toll

In the time since the blackout, state officials, ERCOT and power generators have tried to convince Texans that they’ve got things under control. But a lot of people aren’t convinced. And with good reason. In this episode, we’ll explore how the trauma of the blackout is still with us — and how we still haven’t dealt with the true toll of the disaster. We’ll hear from one family who lost an entire generation.

The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Texas Standard: July 25, 2022

An immigration decision from the supreme court with a big impact on Texas…though it might not be the last word on the matter. We’ll have more on the decision. Also, how extreme heat is affecting migrants trying to get around border checkpoints on foot and what’s being done for their safety. And why gas prices in Texas are going down. These stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 15, 2022

The state of Texas is suing the Biden administration over abortion guidance to hospitals. The federal rules instruct emergency room doctors to provide abortion services in emergency conditions. Texas’ own law provides exceptions for the health of the pregnant patient. So why is the state suing? Also, the state terminating its guardianship over scores of young runaways once in the care of child protective services. What happens to those young people? Other stories include the Austinite who many believe invented psychedelic rock. Plus the week in politics and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

News Brief 7-12-2022 9AM

Daily morning news update from the KUT newsroom. Hot weather and a potential energy shortfall. Round Rock ISD board election.

Texas Standard: July 11, 2022

How hot is it? Hot enough for ERCOT to ask the state to dial back its power use at temperatures climb back into the triple digits. We’ll have the latest. Also a recent pipe burst in Odessa left the city’s hundred thousand plus residents without water for days. Now comes a warning for lots of small to midsized cities about a ticking time bomb of aging pipes and underground stressors. We’ll hear more. Also a new effort aimed at tracking drug overdoses, most of which go non-reported. And a comeback for the Guadalupe bass. And Texas versus Volkswagen: how the carmakers novel defense could put millions of dollars at stake. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 17, 2022

Is there a big push for Governor Abbott at the Texas GOP Convention? Not exactly… Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom with the latest. Other stories we’re tracking, more warnings of record demand for electricity in coming days as Texas tries to beat the heat. While wind and solar getting credit for helping us avoid major blackouts, why these ongoing warnings? And is Texas moving quickly enough to meet constantly growing demand? Also, a new massive SpaceX rocket test cleared for liftoff in South Texas? The FAA imposes new restrictions. And reflections on Juneteenth: do Black Texans consider themselves really free? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 14, 2022

A June heatwave across Texas testing the limits of our power grid and shattering records statewide. Any relief in sight? We’ll take a closer look. Other stories we’re tracking: with more Supreme Court opinions expected to be issued tomorrow, what a pre-Roe Texas might tells us about what could happen should the high court reverse its landmark abortion rulings. Also, the Texas Standard’s Alexa Hart reports on what’s compelled so many Texans to put their lives on hold and travel hours to visit Uvalde. And the north Texas church denied approval to appoint two pastors who identify as LGBTQ, but the church appointed them anyway. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 7, 2022

Record setting heat on tap for much of Texas. Will there be enough electricity to meet demand? And what about the rest of the summer? Coming up, the latest on heat warnings across Texas, and what it portends for the rest of the summer amid anxieties about whether the electrical grid can stand the strain. Also a federal judge moves to hold Texas’ foster care services in contempt as court monitors continue to find deficiencies in a system once declared unconstitutionally unsafe for children. Paul Flahive of Texas Public Radio with the latest. And what’s in a name? Some Mexico distillers say cultural appropriation. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 20, 2022

After a two year reprieve due to the pandemic, Texas school officials announce the return of STARR tests for ranking schools; we’ll look at the implications. Also, the latest on the baby formula shortage in Texas. And, dueling claims about the potential for power blackouts this summer. These stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 24, 2022

We’re keeping a watch on the situation in Ukraine and the ripple effects for Texas. Plus, with early voting ending tomorrow, what to watch for in Texas’ first-in-the-nation primaries. Also, Governor Abbott’s role in keeping energy prices high during last year’s deadly statewide freeze. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 7, 2022

A Texas official takes on listener questions about new vote-by-mail rules. Also, the energy implications of last week’s winter storm and the lingering psychological impacts of the winter storm of 2021. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: February 4, 2022

A frigid Friday and ongoing warnings in much of North and Central Texas to stay off the roads. In the run up, this week’s winter storm was characterized by many as the first real test of the power grid following last years rolling blackouts. But was it? And do traumatized Texans feel more assured? We’ll explore. Also a butterfly sanctuary in South Texas closes its doors indefinitely following death threats and more from partisan conspiracy theorists. Plus the week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune and more today on the Texas Standard: