Keyword: electric grid

The Return of the Grid

| By: Jim Henson

Like most sequels, the summer spin-off exploits lingering interest in the original, but hasn’t quite lived up to the hype –  so far.

Another week of 100+ degree highs throughout the state producing record-setting electricity demand and ERCOT conservation alerts is also recharging the politics surrounding the reliability of the state’s electric grid. Texans' doubts and anxieties about the reliability of the grid make the return of the grid as an issue in the 2022 gubernatorial election inevitable amidst wall-to-wall coverage of the scorching weather and calls to conserve.

 

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Polling shows why looming winter weather triggers Texans' anxieties about the grid, and their doubts about political leaders' response

| By: Jim Henson and Joshua Blank

As the first serious winter storm descends on their state, Texans’ pervasive anxiety about the reliability of the state’s go-it-alone power grid has floated to the surface of public discussion like a North Atlantic iceberg. Weather forecasters and energy mavens assure us that the weather hitting a large swath of the state lacks the severity, duration, or geographic impact of the February 2021 disaster that left hundreds dead, millions of Texas without power in sub-freezing temperatures, and caused billions in damage. Polling we conducted both shortly after the 2021 outages and in the intervening months suggest that the seemingly widespread anxiety about the return of cold weather reflects the pervasive impact of the last storm, as well as a lack of confidence in the state leadership’s measures to ensure the reliability of the grid in the wake of last year’s failures. 

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