A drone photo of the International Terminals Company fire in Deer Park, on March 18, 2019.

The ITC Chemical Fire

2 Years After Disastrous Deer Park Chemical Fire, Texas Close To Creating New Safety Rules For Industry

Posted on · Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston, spent years negotiating with industry groups to get new regulations placed on the chemical industry after the ITC fire in 2019. The bill has passed both chambers, but small changes need to be ironed out before it is sent to Gov. Greg Abbott.

Power lines in Dallas during last week's winter storm. Millions went without power in Texas for days last week, and on Wednesday the grid operator's board acknowledged Texans' suffering.

Energy & Environment

Resigning ERCOT Board Members Acknowledge ‘Pain And Suffering’ From Extreme Power Grid Strain That Caused Outages For Millions Of Texans

Posted on · In the power grid operator’s first board meeting since Texas’ power outages, a sixth ERCOT board member confirmed his resignation, and new details show that a shortage of natural gas fuel was a bigger problem last week than in 2011.

A CVS Pharmacy in South Austin is lit only by the lights of a parked car. Various parts throughout the state lost power as a result of the winter storm.

Energy & Environment

ERCOT Board Members Who Live Outside Of Texas Are Resigning In The Aftermath Of The Power Outage, Winter Storm

Posted on · Five board members, including the chair, who do not live in Texas will resign. A candidate for another position on the board has withdrawn his application. The vacancies will not immediately be filled.

Energy and policy experts said Texas’ decision not to require equipment upgrades to better withstand extreme winter temperatures, and choice to operate mostly isolated from other grids in the U.S. left power system unprepared for the winter crisis.

Energy & Environment

Texas Leaders Failed To Heed Warnings That Left The State’s Power Grid Vulnerable To Winter Extremes, Experts Say

Posted on · Texas officials knew winter storms could leave the state’s power grid vulnerable, but they left the choice to prepare for harsh weather up to the power companies — many of which opted against the costly upgrades. That, plus a deregulated energy market largely isolated from the rest of the country’s power grid, left the state alone to deal with the crisis, experts said.