Texas’s deregulated electricity market raised consumer costs by $28B: WSJ | TheHill

The analysis found that consumers purchasing power from the deregulated electricity market have paid significantly more than state residents whose sources were traditional electric utilities.

The report comes after widespread power outages in Texas that left millions of residents without power for days amid freezing temperatures. That was followed by many households receiving sky-high electricity bills, with warnings from experts that consumers are likely to be hit with covering the costs for grid upgrades.

The decision to have a deregulated electricity market stems back to 1999 when legislation was first introduced to deregulate the market in Texas. Supporters of the bill said it would create more competition in the sector and lower prices for consumers.

However, households under the deregulated market paid rates 13 percent higher than the nationwide average from 2004 to 2019, according to the Journal. Those who used traditional utilities in Texas paid 8 percent less than the national average during that time frame.

The data used for the analysis came from the federal Energy Information Administration.

Although deregulation in Texas was designed to allow for more competition, mergers in the industry have left Texans with two main retail electricity providers.

Source: Texas’s deregulated electricity market raised consumer costs by $28B: WSJ | TheHill

Huge explosion erupts after 18-wheeler hits fuel train in Texas

An 18-wheel truck hit a train carrying chemicals and fuels in Cameron, Texas, early Tuesday, causing a huge explosion and starting a fire that is expected to burn for several days.

The Milam County town of 5,400, about 72 miles northeast of Austin, was rocked by the boom around 6:45 a.m., according to Cameron Sheriff Chris White.

White said the driver of an 18-wheel flatbed truck lost control of his vehicle, was unable to stop, swerved around a parked vehicle and into a rail crossing, where his truck struck a passing BNSF train.

“Nobody was injured or killed,” White said.

Source: Huge explosion erupts after 18-wheeler hits fuel train in Texas

Family of 11-year-old boy who died in Texas deep freeze files $100 million suit against power companies – ABC News

Texas power providers Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) and Entergy Corporation have been hit with a $100 million lawsuit accusing them of gross negligence in the death of a child whose family suspects he suffered hypothermia when they lost electricity and heat in their mobile home during a historic cold snap.

The mother of 11-year-old Cristian Pineda filed the wrongful death lawsuit in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the utility giants “put profits over the welfare of people” by ignoring previous recommendations to winterize its power grid, which sustained an epic failure last week and left more than 4 million customers without heat and electricity as temperatures in some parts of the state plunged to single digits.

Source: Family of 11-year-old boy who died in Texas deep freeze files $100 million suit against power companies – ABC News

Massive fire breaks out in San Antonio apartment building

A massive fire broke out at an apartment complex in San Antonio Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The blaze began around 1 p.m. at the complex in Bexar County, KSTAT reported.

Residents recalled they received an alert to turn off their water heater, and the fire erupted on the second floor moments later, fire officials said.

About 50 residents were evacuated from the building.

Source: Massive fire breaks out in San Antonio apartment building

Cruz travels to Cancun, Mexico, as Texans remain without power amid historic winter storm – CNNPolitics

Sen. Ted Cruz and his family flew to Cancun, Mexico, he confirmed in a statement to CNN, as a winter disaster in his home state left millions without power or water.

Cruz, a Texas Republican, said in the statement he flew down for a night because his daughters “asked to take a trip with friends.”
“With school cancelled for the week, our girls asked to take a trip with friends. Wanting to be a good dad, I flew down with them last night and am flying back this afternoon,” he said in the statement. “My staff and I are in constant communication with state and local leaders to get to the bottom of what happened in Texas. We want our power back, our water on, and our homes warm. My team and I will continue using all our resources to keep Texans informed and safe.”

Source: Cruz travels to Cancun, Mexico, as Texans remain without power amid historic winter storm – CNNPolitics

Texas snow: Mayor quits after ‘only strong will survive’ post – BBC News

Colorado City’s mayor has quit after posting that “only the strong will survive and the weak will perish” in a deadly winter storm sweeping the southern US state.

Tim Boyd, the mayor of Colorado City, took to Facebook in anger at people “crying and looking for a handout”.

“Sink or swim it’s your choice,” he raged. “The city and country… or any other service, owes you nothing.”

Millions are now in a third day without power and struggling for heat in Texas.

Source: Texas snow: Mayor quits after ‘only strong will survive’ post – BBC News

Plane crash kills four in Leon County

HILLTOP LAKES, Texas (KBTX) – Four people died Sunday morning in a plane crash near Hilltop Lakes in Leon County.

According to flight records, the 1984 single-engine plane left Horseshoe Bay Resort near Marble Falls, west of Austin, at 10:00 a.m. Sunday and was headed to the Natchitoches, Louisiana Regional Airport.

Troopers say on the way, the plane started to have engine issues. The aircraft was attempting to make an emergency landing at Hilltop Lakes Airport when it crashed near the Hilltop Lakes stables north of Normangee around 10:45 a.m.

Officials say the pilot had been in contact with the FAA before the crash, saying the plane was having engine problems.

Source: Plane crash kills four in Leon County