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Texas Lawmakers Want To Prevent Another Power Crisis. But The Legislation Doesn’t Go Far Enough To Do That, Critics Say.

Texas lawmakers want to prevent another power crisis. But the legislation doesn’t go far enough to do that, critics say.

Both the Texas Senate and House have written bills that attempt to prevent another massive power failure in extreme temperatures. But parts of their legislative proposals are drawing criticism for not going far enough to prepare electricity infrastructure for increased risks posed by climate change. And critics are also wary that some measures would leave enforcement of the mandated upgrades to the Public Utility Commission without increasing its funding or resources to do the job. Read more from Erin Douglas…

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Texas State Parks Working To Return To Normal Capacity

Texas State Parks working to return to normal capacity

Texas State Parks have begun a strategic and thoughtful process of expanding capacity statewide, tracking Gov. Greg Abbott’s latest reopening order, and allowing more Texans the opportunity to visit their favorite parks. Masks are strongly encouraged for park visitors, especially when indoors or in areas where it is difficult to socially distance. Also, restrictions affecting group sizes have been lifted. “We’re excited to welcome more visitors to our parks,” said Rodney Franklin, director of Texas State Parks. “We want Texans…

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Experts Fear Reversing Electricity Prices From Winter Storm Could Make Things Worse

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

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. Some have said they would benefit from a decision to readjust the market, while others have said they would be hurt by such a move. But who would be helped or hurt, and by how much,…

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It’s Time To Stop Pointing Fingers And Take Steps To Make The Texas Grid More Reliable

It’s time to stop pointing fingers and take steps to make the Texas grid more reliable

The withering winter weather and associated power outages across Texas left millions without electricity for days (including some of my kids and grandkids). It was the most extensive and will likely to be the most expensive storm in Texas history. The resulting suffering, distress and frustration have rightly triggered a demand for answers that our political leaders of all stripes have been eager to provide, often contradicting themselves from one day to the next. I have heard that it was…

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Vaccinating Texas: Continued Frustration For Some, Guilt For Others

Vaccinating Texas: Continued frustration for some, guilt for others

Texas Standard is collecting stories from across the state about individual journeys to getting COVID-19 vaccinations. We want to hear the positive as well as the negative. If you’re currently eligible or are trying to secure a vaccine for an eligible loved one, share your story here. Right now, about 10% of Texans are fully vaccinated and around 20% have had at least one shot. Phase 1C expands access to Texans age 50 to 64, but Texas Standard continues to…

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Want To Save The Bees? You Don’t Need To Put Out Sugar Water

Want to save the bees? You don’t need to put out sugar water

The icy weather of February affected all sorts of wildlife in Texas and damaged plants across the state, including the ones honeybees rely on for food. Some on social media have suggested putting sugar water out as a potential food source for the bees. But Dr. Jessica Beckham said that isn't the way to go. Beckham is an entomologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio. "You shouldn't try and feed the bees unless you're talking about growing flowers. That's…

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Here’s How Texans Can Apply For Federal Help To Recover From The Devastating Winter Storm

Here’s how Texans can apply for federal help to recover from the devastating winter storm

Texans in more than 100 counties can begin applying for federal assistance to help them recover from last week’s massive winter storm that caused widespread power outages, water disruptions and building damages from burst pipes. And the number of counties whose residents qualify for such aid could grow “as more work is done to evaluate need,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday. Read more from Bryan Mena with the Texas Tribune here. 

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Do Thousands Of Bat Deaths Mean Texans Will Face A Mosquito-ridden Summer?

Do thousands of bat deaths mean Texans will face a mosquito-ridden summer?

No one knows yet just how many bats were killed by the frigid conditions of last month’s disastrous winter storm in Texas. Reports popped up across the state about thousands of the winged mammals found either dead or dying. The hardest-hit species appears to have been Mexican free-tailed bats, migrants better suited for warmer climates, as well as some species of yellow bats. But we may not know the full scope of the death toll for quite some time, if…

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Texans Used Mutual Aid To Help Their Communities Through A Devastating Winter Storm

Texans used mutual aid to help their communities through a devastating winter storm

When the massive winter storm hit Texas last week, University of Texas at Austin student Sam Miles noticed that there seemed to be a lot of need expressed on social media that got lost “in the void” because there wasn’t a centralized system for keeping track of requests. Miles decided to use her large Twitter presence to help: She created a Google Form to track what individuals needed and who could fulfill their requests. What started as an oatmeal drive…

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Lift Station Generator Failure Causes Wastewater Spill

Lift station generator failure causes wastewater spill

Approximately 1 million gallons of wastewater overflowed into the San Marcos River early Thursday morning following a generator failure, the City of San Marcos announced Friday. The city said the generator failure occurred at its main wastewater lift station — located near River Road and the Interstate 35 frontage road.— which moves sewage to the treatment plant. Read more from the San Marcos Daily Record here. 

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