Texas power grid operator asks customers to limit afternoon AC use

Jul 11, 2022
With temperatures in triple digits in much of the state, air conditioning is creating heavy demand on a system that has had problems in the past.
With temperatures in the triple digits across the state, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas is urging customers to conserve energy when possible.
Brandon Bell/Getty Images

In Texas, conservationists push for stricter land protections at a popular national park

May 16, 2022
Visitor numbers have skyrocketed at Big Bend, prompting calls for a wilderness designation to better protect the park’s pristine landscape.
As tourism in the area grows, conservationists are worried about keeping Big Bend National Park protected.
John Moore/Getty Images

Should utilities rethink the power transmission model?

May 9, 2022
Some say lawmakers are trying to solve 21st century problems with 20th century solutions.
Electricity providers in some parts of the country with hot weather are warning consumers that demand may outpace supply.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Parents of transgender children in Texas face a hard choice: stay or go

Mar 31, 2022
A new state policy threatens families and doctors who provide gender-affirming medical care.
LGBTQ rights' supporters gather at the Texas State Capitol to protest anti-trans legislation in September 2021.
Tamir Kalifa/Getty Images

As a cold front moves in, Texas residents hope there's no repeat of last year's blackouts

Feb 3, 2022
Despite efforts to strengthen the electric grid, Gov. Greg Abbott has said there's no guarantee that the power will stay on.
Snow blanketed Irving, Texas, on Thursday. The storm is reminding Texans of the deep freeze and grid failures that afflicted the state around this time last year.
John Moore/Getty Images

Texas county returns millions in unspent federal rent relief

Dec 30, 2021
Montgomery County officials say there’s been minimal demand for county funds, but others say that’s because the county didn’t make it easily available to renters.
Houston-area renters line up for rent relief assistance at La Iglesia del Pueblo on July 5.
Jen Rice

What we get wrong about the energy grid

Dec 28, 2021
We should focus on changing demand for electric power when planning for the future.
During a period of extreme cold in February, people took shelter at a store in Houston that was transformed into a warming station. The drop in temperature caused a widespread and prolonged power outage.
Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images

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In rural West Texas, the demand for well water is growing

Dec 14, 2021
People have been moving to far West Texas during the pandemic, but officials are concerned there isn't enough water to go around.
Lee Killingsworth and another driller operate the rig and look out onto the property.
Zoe Kurland

What kind of problems can abandoned oil wells leave behind?

Nov 9, 2021
One Texas rancher still trying to find out whether a leak from a decommissioned oil well is a sign of other problems on her land.
Ashley Watt stands on her family cattle ranch in Crane County, Texas.
Mitch Borden/Marfa Public Radio

BBQ used to be poor folks' food. Now, some of it is $36 per pound.

Oct 14, 2021
Pitmasters have become social media and television stars. A few have won James Beard Awards.
Tootsie Tomanetz, the 86-year-old pitmaster at Snow's BBQ, tends to sausages on a Saturday morning in Lexington, Texas. Tomanetz has been cooking barbecue since 1966 and says she never could have imagined the popularity she's witnessing today.
Filipa Rodrigues for Marketplace