skip to main content

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Lawmakers consider changes to Maine's Clean Election law, Florida offers a big no comment over "arranged" migrant flights to California, and the Global Fragility Act turns U.S. peacekeeping on its head.

play newscast audioPlay

A bipartisan effort aims to preserve AM radio, the Human Rights Campaign declares a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and the Atlanta City Council approves funding for a controversial police training center.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Will Today’s New Electric Prices Bring Texas More Electricity?

play audio
Play

Wednesday, August 1, 2012   

AUSTIN, Texas - Texas recently was ranked last in a national survey of electrical-system reliability, which might not surprise anyone who experienced last summer's rolling blackouts.

State regulators are responding to the problem with a plan that kicks in today. They have raised the cap on wholesale prices in most of the state by 50 percent, hoping the move will ensure that energy companies have enough cash on hand to build new power plants.

Consumer advocates fear that homeowners and small businesses will bear the brunt of the increase. Tim Morstad, associate state director of AARP Texas, explains.

"The real frustrating thing here is that state regulators are saying we need to do this because power suppliers need to build more power plants, but there's no guarantee that these power suppliers are actually going to build those power plants at the higher prices."

Today's increase could simply lead to bigger profits for energy suppliers, Morstad says, adding that it might be just the beginning of higher electric bills for Texans. The Public Utility Commission has signaled that it's considering raising the cap again by as much as 100 percent, perhaps later this year.

Morstad considers any rate hike to be a safety issue for AARP's elderly members on fixed incomes. Every year, vulnerable Texans who can't afford air conditioning die from heat-related causes. While he agrees the state's grid probably is insufficient for a growing population, he thinks today's increase is premature.

"There are other things to explore - like, how can we reduce the amount of electricity that we're using, and maybe make it unnecessary to build new power plants. We want all of the different options to be explored."

Consumers won't automatically face higher fixed rates after today, according to industry representatives. More likely, Texans will see temporary increases during peak usage times.

Critics warn that raising the wholesale cap could jeopardize some of the state's smaller providers who have previously offered customers locked-in rates.

See state reliability rankings online at nerc.com.



get more stories like this via email

According to the Mars Veterinary Health study, nearly 41,000 additional veterinarians will be needed to meet the needs of companion animal health care by 2030. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

In Arizona, telemedicine is now not only available for humans but also for people's beloved animals. Last month Governor Katie Hobbs signed Senate …


Environment

play sound

Ruybal Fox Creek Ranch sits in a dramatic canyon in the foothills of southern Colorado's San Juan Mountains, right next to the Rio Grande National …

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Dakota officials are urging people receiving health coverage through a key public program to stay on top of their renewal if they are still elig…


According to the report, there was a 14% increase among Nevada seniors accessing high-speed internet between 2016 and 2021. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

Nevada has received an overall score of 43 in the nation for the health and well-being of its seniors in the state. According to the United Health …

Social Issues

play sound

A court hearing next week could help determine whether an eastern South Dakota mayor will face a recall election. Events are rare for this state…

A new measure in this year's report shows many older adults spent more than 30% of their income on housing. (Adobe stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Indiana ranks closer to the bottom of U.S. states where you will find healthy seniors living than the top, according to a new report. …

Social Issues

play sound

The last day of school for Texas kids is typically one of elation, but for children in rural areas with high poverty rates, it also can mean …

Environment

play sound

Virginia environmental advocates are not happy with the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision on the Clean Water Act. The ruling in Sackett versus E-P-…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021