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Houston Chronicle (Commentary): Texas lawmakers slow-walking desperately needed electric grid reforms

March 24 –Texas politicians are moving very slowly to address the market failures that left 4 million homes without power on the coldest nights of the year and led to 57 deaths.

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KXXV: Regulator’s leaked call brings questions about winter storm profits

March 20 — The last remaining member of the Public Utility Commission resigns after a leaked phone call revealed the regulator promising to protect investor profits made during the winter storm crisis. We speak with the reporter who broke the story, Texas Monthly’s Loren Steffy, about the story behind the call, and the new questions about who made money from the crisis.

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Weatherford Democrat: California cities banned natural gas in new buildings, Texas wants to outlaw those bans

March 21 — Texas lawmakers are quickly moving a bill forward that attempts to stop cities from banning natural gas as a fuel source for new construction and utility services — a trend in progressive California cities that some state lawmakers say would restrict consumer choices if Texas cities move to do the same.

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CBS Austin: Experts fear reversing electricity prices from winter storm could make things worse

March 20 — Companies and entities at every level of the Texas energy supply chain are anxiously waiting to see whether the Texas Legislature will retroactively adjust the price of power in the state’s electricity market during the February blackouts in which more than 50 people died..

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Houston Chronicle: Texas Supreme Court punts on whether ERCOT is immune from storm lawsuits

March 19 — The Texas Supreme Court punted Friday on a question dogging millions of Texans affected by last month’s catastrophic power failure: Can ERCOT, the state’s grid manager, be sued?

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S&P Global: No $16 billion price correction for ERCOT unless Texas governor takes action

March 19 — The Electric Reliability Council of Texas’ $9,000/MWh real-time wholesale prices on Feb. 18-19, set during a brutal winter storm, will become a permanent $16 billion cost to the market unless Governor Greg Abbott takes action March 19.

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RTO Insider: Texas Supremes Sidestep Ruling on ERCOT Lawsuit Shield

March 23 — The Texas Supreme Court left standing an appellate ruling granting ERCOT sovereign immunity, but the courts will likely revisit the issue.

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CBS 21: Bill Requiring Winterizing Facilities That Provide Electric Service Progresses In Texas House

March 19 — Lt. Gov. Patrick said ratepayers will now face up to $5 billion in charges, but the governor said that will be worked out in the courts. In the meantime, a bill requiring facilities that produce and deliver electrical power to prepare for extreme winter weather is making its way though the Texas House.

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Dallas Morning News: Another Texas electricity seller files for bankruptcy in wake of winter freeze

March 17 — Houston-based Brilliant Energy LLC filed for bankruptcy in the Southern District of Texas, adding to a growing list of companies that have stumbled after power outages caused by a winter freeze in February.

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Corpus Christi Caller-Times The three now-ousted PUC members won swift approval; the next three face a tougher road

March 19 — If the Texas Senate had any concerns about whether the Public Utility Commission had done enough to ensure the state’s electricity grid could withstand a surge of winter demand amid a plunge in supply, no member made it known in February 2019.

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Texas Tribune: Texas’ chief energy regulator fiercely defended fossil fuels after historic blackouts. She also profits from oil and gas.

March 19 — Craddick and her father, a well-known Republican state representative who sits on two Texas House committees overseeing oil and gas, have direct financial ties to that industry, including with some of the same gas-producing companies that have admitted to shutdowns of their own facilities during the storm.

 

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