The Public Utility Commission of Texas has been leaning towards switching to capacity markets to meet Texas’ electricity needs but that concept doesn’t sit well with some state senators.
The Senate Natural Resources Committee met with the head of the PUC to question the group's reasons for switching to a system that would supply energy companies with more state money, hoping they would in turn use those funds to build additional power plants.
Texas Matters: Wendy Davis will finally announce her decision on the governor's race, which will finally end the speculating and kick the 2014 election campaigning into a new gear. Ted Cruz' attempt to "defund Obamacare" is still playing itself out, but has he gained or lost political capital? The insurance exchanges that are part of the Affordable Care Act open up on Oct. 1 and people for and against the new health care law are working their tails off for their case. A look at boomtowns from Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas, and last, a few words about sustainability from an International Space Station flight controller.
New Environmental Protection Agency rules for power plants go into effect on Sept. 20 and a new report details how Texas power plants are one of the leading causes of global warming in the country.
Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger said their study shows Texas is the leading nation when it comes to power plant pollution. Texas is home to two of the dirtiest plants in the United States in the Martin Lake Plant, located south of Longview, and the W.A. Parish Plant, which is just outside of Houston.
Nexolon America Wednesday announced the next phase of its solar manufacturing project in San Antonio. The company that broke ground last year expects to 400 employees are expected to be hired beginning in Sept.
Nexolon America is working with the Alamo Colleges to develop a training program for new employees to build 200 megawatts of solar modules per year. Executive Vice-President Scot Arey said the company is expecting to start advertising in about a month for its first wave of hiring.
Last week the special session of the Texas legislature passed a bill that would institute mandatory minimums for 17 year olds convicted of capital murder.
The state of Texas has mandatory minimums for several crimes including murder, but has avoided some of the most controversial mandatory minimums with nonviolent drug offenses. States like Florida and Massachusettes have seen their prison populations swell with these nonviolent offenders.
National forecasters are predicting another hotter-than-normal summer. That could mean more of the rolling blackouts likes those San Antonio experienced in 2011.
Climatologists predict temperatures will be above normal this year and the power grid may not be able to keep up. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation projects the Texas grid will have the lowest percentage of power reserves this summer of any region in the country.
The problem is rapidly-growing demand combined with a lack of new power plants being built.
Ted Cruz and Steve Stockman have quickly established themselves as vocal and active members of Congress, and their gusto is ruffling some feathers. How much do we know about the cost of state lawmaker pensions? Apparently not much, but why not? Debate about changing the way electric utilities get paid; should they be paid for capacity? Quail hunting used to be a part of everyday life, but quail populations have been declining for the past 25 years.