‘You can’t have it both ways’: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick vows to fight Biden administration over Texas abortion law
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) is the guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall and says the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the Texas abortion law is mis-placed. Attorney General Merrick Garland described the Texas law (allowing private citizens to act as plaintiffs via lawsuits) as a scheme to nullify the U.S. Constitution. “I actually thought he was talking about Biden’s vaccination plan”, Patrick said. “Because you can’t have it both ways. You can’t say the government cannot intercede in these matters when government, to suit themselves on the vaccinations, is interceding on private matters.
ERCOT report on storm blames weather for most power outages but doesn’t explain why plants weren’t prepared
A preliminary report released Tuesday by the agency overseeing most of the Texas power grid blames weather for most of the outages that happened during February’s winter storm, but it fails to explain why plants across the state were unprepared for the historic cold.
Ask 2: What is specifically meant by the ‘winterization’ of our electric grid?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: What is specifically meant by the “winterization” of our electric grid? Greg Abbott called for the winterization of the state’s power grid, he meant that infrastructure needs to be equipped to withstand extreme weather. According to the Texas Tribune, this specifically means upgrading or retrofitting natural gas, wind, coal or nuclear energy sources to be prepared for future events similar to Winter Storm Uri. Some ideas that experts suggest are prioritizing efforts to prevent frozen wellheads, retrofitting the blades of wind turbines with special coatings and heating elements and retrofitting existing natural gas wells.
Will Texas lawmakers finally heed the power grid warnings from 10 years ago?
The crush of proposed legislation follows what many consider to be the numerous failings of our state’s power grid uncovered by February’s winter storm. Ad“They failed us, miserably,” Bossette said of state lawmakers. 2011Ten years ago, lawmakers were lamenting how another winter storm knocked out power to millions of Texans. Just as they are now, ERCOT officials face withering criticism for not making sure our grid was better prepared. Even then, ERCOT officials said they have no authority to force power generators to follow through with these plans.
Lawmakers demanding answers over multi-billion dollar billing error during winter storm
AUSTIN, Texas – The demands of lawmakers are growing louder when it comes to addressing what some call a multi-billion-dollar billing error. The dispute involves energy prices charged during the winter storm. He also said certain markets had settled, and retroactively changing energy prices could create ripple effects with dire financial consequences. He also balked at the assertion that energy providers would pass on their financial losses to customers in terms of rate hikes. He said Texas’ market is easy to enter and and there are plenty of providers willing to compete for business.
Microgrids offer alternative power in Texas
AdThose 59 orders left millions of Houstonians without power for days. “I produce enough power to power my house and keep (it) going,” he said. His solar-and-battery home produced so much power, he was able to send it back to his power company’s grid and help power other homes. Ad“I was reaching out to all the people I know, and invited them over.”Boneno also said his solar panels also offer him a big savings on his power bill. Sunnova serves residential customers and has partners who make solar panels, batteries and other electronic pieces to control the power.
Ask 2: Who is responsible for wrapping pipes at a rental property?
As part of our Ask 2 series, the newsroom will answer your questions about all things Houston. Question: Who is responsible for wrapping pipes at a rental property? Landlords, especially in apartment complexes and condominiums, are responsible for making winter weather preparations before a freeze event occurs, such as pipe wrapping and winterizing. If pipes freeze and they burst, it is the landlord’s responsibility to fix the pipes and pay for all damages. According to the Houston Apartment Association, renter’s insurance usually covers water damage from burst pipes and their property inside the rental home.
Some lawmakers say legislation proposed after 2011 freeze would’ve helped during winter storm
HOUSTON – Frustration is still boiling over the deadly freeze that ravaged Texas last month. A freeze, that according to ERCOT’s records, show’s a large number of facilities in the state going down. Some of them are the same ones that went down during a paralyzing North Texas freeze in 2011. Ten years ago, as a state senator, Hager authored legislation requiring the winterization of generators to avoid future failures. Ad“It’s the same lessons learned,” said deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas, Michael Webber.
Houston horticulturist shares 4 tips to help your garden recover after the winter freeze
HOUSTON – Winter storm Uri wreaked havoc on people’s plants and trees all across Texas, but it’s possible for your plants to survive with the right care. Brent Moon, horticultural manager with the Houston Botanic Garden, shared helpful post- freeze tips to get your garden back in shape. Columbine (Aquilegia chrysantha ‘Hinckleyana’) (Houston Botanic Garden)“It is very important to remove dead and rotting foliage as soon as possible. Firebush (Hamelia patens) in the Upland Forest (Houston Botanic Garden)“For plants such as Hummingbird bush (Hamelia), Ixora, Oleander, Duranta, Esperanza, etc. To connect with Houston Botanic Garden, click here.
Out-of-town plumbers need help to keep helping Houston families in need after winter storm
HOUSTON – Two brothers from West Virginia and their plumbing crew have been in Houston for almost a week, helping dozens of families in need of repairs after the recent winter storm. They’ve already used the almost $30,000 they raised to help people for free. “Right now, we’re pretty large in the hole and I mean pretty large,” said David Dellinger of American Professional Plumbing Services. We’ve seen the people that were suffering and there’s just not enough of us tradesmen.”Beth Stanaland lives on the southside of Houston. “If I have running water and hot water and not have water pouring down, that will be a huge relief.
How to avoid being ripped off by so-called contractors, plumbers after historic winter storm
“It was like a waterfall coming from the ceiling.”“We still have no water in the house,” Cruz added. She is afraid of being taken by a fly-by-night contractor or plumber. Ad“Whenever there is any kind of disaster, unfortunately, we always see the scammers come out of the woodwork,” Napoliello said. Napoliello’s job is to help consumers avoid being ripped off by shady contractors, plumbers and others, who are out to grab your money, and she has several rules you should follow to avoid them. “First of all, you should never hire someone on the spot, if they come to your front door”, Napoliello said.
Here’s how to get financial help from the Houston Harris County Winter Storm Relief Fund
HOUSTON – A relief fund established after the winter storm that left hundreds of homes with damage from burst pipes has already raised millions of dollars and officials are ready to start giving some of that money to people needing help. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Monday that $7.1 million has already been raised for the fund, including a $100,000 donation from former Houston Rockets player Russell Westbrook. Turner said the fund will distribute $1.65 million in grants to people who need financial assistance to repair their homes. People who need assistance can text “HOUSTONFREEZE” to 898211 to get information about the application process. Spanish speakers can text “HOUSTONAYUDA” TO 898211.
24 Hour Fitness offering Texans free gym access through the end of March
24 Hour Fitness, which has 39 locations in Texas will welcome all residents and first responders regardless of membership through the end of March. According to a news release Thursday, Texas residents who are interested in visiting their nearby 24 Hour Fitness club can simply visit to gain access throughout the month. Karl Santf, Chief Operating Officer of 24 Hour Fitness said in a statement they are pleased to offer their clubs to the community as a place to take care of their physical and mental wellbeing. Ad24 Hour Fitness continues to enact COVID-19 protocols such as mask-wearing and social distancing and stringent cleaning procedures. To find your nearest 24 Hour Fitness, click here.
H-E-B donates $1 million to Texas food banks to help those in need after winter storm
HOUSTON – H-E-B is going above and beyond to make sure Texans have food on their table by donating $1 million to food banks across Texas. According to a news release, working directly with food banks affiliated with Feeding Texas, H-E-B’s donation will support 18 food banks throughout the state. So far, the Texas grocery chain has donated 23 truckloads of food and $100,000 in Meal Simple meals to food banks, per the release. H-E-B also responded to the ongoing water crisis in Texas by partnering with Zen Water and Florida-based Publix, who each donated 10 truckloads of water to Texas food banks this week. All donations will support Texas food banks with Feeding Texas.
Lights may be on, but the suffering isn’t over
HOUSTON – Texas Senate and House hearings are only the beginning of the investigations into our state’s power grid failures during a blistering winter storm. Ten days after the winter storm blanketed Texas, Anderson still has no water in her Yorkdale neighborhood home in Northwest Houston. Like millions of Texans, Anderson lost power as temperatures dropped, pipes in the ceiling froze and then cracked. Hearings in the House and Senate will start the work to get those answers. We should have taken action then, what prevented that from happening, why did we not take the action?”
From drywall repair to plumbing fixes: 4 videos to DIY repair your home after the Texas winter storm
HOUSTON – Houstonians and many Texans are finding themselves repairing their homes after water pipes burst due to the winter storm that hit the state last week. Patching, repairing drywall after water damageYouTubers Evan And Katelyn show how to repair and patch a piece of drywall. Perfect for those who finished repairing broken water pipes. Fixing pipes after a freezeA lot of Houstonians saw pipes burst during the freeze last week, resulting in water shutoffs and damage inside their homes. Have you tried to repair pipes or drywall yourself?
ERCOT CEO addresses Texas winter storm after 6 board officials announce resignations
Craig Ivey, who had applied to fill a vacancy on the board, has withdrawn his application, according to the filing. In a letter signed by Talberg, Cramton, Bulger and Hepper, the group said they are resigning after recent concerns about out-of-state ERCOT board members. “We have noted recent concerns about out-of-state board leadership at ERCOT. Ad“Before we step aside, we are beginning the process of reviewing this extreme cold weather event and resulting power crisis. ERCOT leadership made assurances that Texas’ power infrastructure was prepared for the winter storm, but those assurances proved to be devastatingly false.
‘I’m angry too’: Abbott promises action to prevent future power grid failures
Greg Abbott promised action to prevent a future power grid failure like the one last week that left millions of people without electricity for days as an arctic blast gripped the state. He said ERCOT assured state officials that the grid was ready for the record-setting cold and ice that swept the Lone Star State. He said the agency charged with managing the state’s electric grid should’ve acted faster to get it stabilized. “I’m angry too.”Abbott said the system that was needed the most during the storm “broke” and he laid out a set of priorities aimed at stopping future problems. Finally, Abbott again called on lawmakers to mandate winterization of Texas’ power infrastructure and to set aside the money need to do it.
This Texas H-E-B allowed customers to pick out groceries for free during winter freeze
The H-E-B logo is seen at a store in Houston on March 16, 2020. AUSTIN, Texas – An Austin-area H-E-B lost power during the historic winter storm last week, allowing customers to leave the store without paying for groceries. A Facebook post from Tim Hennessy went viral nationwide, praising the Texas grocery chain for their generosity. Today, Deb and I went to our local grocery store called: H.E.B. Must be all hands on deck.”Reaching to the end of the checkout line, an H-E-B employee asked if Hennessy had any alcohol in their cart.
ERCOT asked feds to pause federal environmental limits during winter storm
As last week’s historic winter storm was rolling across Texas, officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, ERCOT, was asking the federal government to temporarily suspend environmental limits for several power producers. ERCOT officials could not tell KPRC 2 at what time the request to DOE was made, but did provide us with a notice to “All ERCOT Market Participants,” notifying them of the DOE request at 5:58 p.m. CST. The wording of the request strikes a very different tone than public statements ERCOT officials made three days prior. Cohan said he disagrees that ERCOT officials adequately predicted customer demand during this storm. AdThe North American Electric Reliability Corporation, NERC, which has regulatory authority over power plants, is set to adopt mandatory winterization rules in November 2021.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick discusses recent winter storm, launching investigation
SUGAR LAND, Texas – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick spoke strongly about the power outage debacle during a press conference in Sugar Land Monday morning. This week, the Texas Senate and Texas House will launch an investigation into what went wrong, according to Patrick. AdPatrick reiterated that renewables are not the answer, but says his team is going back to the drawing board. “We are going to find out what went wrong. Patrick said he and his team are working on a solution for them, but he hasn’t come to a resolution yet.
Power failure: What warnings did ERCOT send and when?
On February 8, ERCOT notified power generators freezing temperatures were on the way and would last from February 11 to 15. At 12:17 a.m. on February 15, ERCOT moved to a Level 1 Energy Emergency Alert and asked for power conservation. ERCOT is urging consumers and businesses to reduce electricity usage.”At1:25 a.m. ERCOT was at EEA Level 3, the highest level. AdERCOT reported a total of 185 power plants were offline during the storm. Once adopted, power plants could face stiff penalties if weatherization standards are not followed.
How to help ‘Kids’ Meals’ replace lost food due to power outages
HOUSTON – The nonprofit “Kids’ Meals” has been fighting hunger in Houston since 2016 providing free, healthy meals to preschool-aged children who live in extreme poverty. Beth Harp, executive director with Kids’ Meals, Inc., explained how the community can help them restock to aid those in dire need. Kids' Meals, Inc. (Kids' Meals, Inc.)Kids’ Meals lost all meat, cheese, milk, juice, and much of its bread and need help to resume delivery of 6,400 meals on Monday. We have been desperately trying to get the word out and raise funds in order to get new food supplies. You can donate here: https://www.giveffect.com/checkout/4136 Posted by Kids' Meals, Inc. on Thursday, February 18, 2021To donate or volunteer to Kids’ Meals, click here.
Snow-pocalypse: Nor’easter dumps more than a foot of snow across NYC
(AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)A powerful nor’easter is cranking off the coast of New England dumping enormous amounts of over the past 48 hours from Washington to Boston. Some areas could see up to a foot or more. Central Park in New York City has already seen nearly 16 inches since Sunday night. A foot or more of snow is expected to fall! As of Monday evening, close to a foot of snow has fallen across greater New York City and parts of the higher elevations in the Poconos and Catskills may see up to 2 feet by Tuesday.
Wind Advisory Expanded for all of Southeast Texas Until 6 p.m.
HOUSTON – A Wind Advisory that has been expanded for all of Southeast Texas starts at 9 a.m. and will last through 6 p.m.Wind AdvisoryWith gusty northwest winds and temperatures close to 60 degrees it will fee cool Friday. Expect winds to relax Friday night but cooler temperatures will be sticking around. Seasonably cool weather will continue through the week. 10 day forecastPast the holiday weekend weather becomes unsettled. Enjoy our quiet weather before the rain arrives next week!