• Texas power outagesAlmost 70% of ERCOT customers lost power during winter storm, study finds

    By Neelam Bohra

    Texans in ERCOT’s service area who lost electricity were without power for an average of 42 hours, according to the study. They had been told to prepare for short-term, rolling outages.

  • Texas power outagesPaperwork Failures Worsened Texas Blackouts, Sparking Mid-Storm Scramble to Restore Critical Fuel Supply

    By Erin Douglas

    Dozens of natural gas companies failed to do the paperwork that would keep their facilities powered during an emergency, so utilities cut their electricity at the very moment that power plants most needed fuel. The mid-storm scramble to fix the problem exposed a regulatory blind spot.

  • Texas power outagesThe Texas Blackouts Showed How Climate Extremes Threaten Energy Systems Across the U.S.

    By Roshanak (Roshi) Nateghi

    Pundits and politicians have been quick to point fingers over the debacle in Texas that left millions without power or clean water during February’s deep freeze. Many have blamed the state’s deregulated electricity market, arguing that Texas prioritized cheap power over reliability. But climate extremes are wreaking increasing havoc on energy systems across the U.S., regardless of local politics or the particulars of regional grids.

  • Texas power outagesWhat Went Wrong with Texas’ Power Grid?

    On 13 February, a severe winter storm swept across Texas and nearby southern states, bringing sub-zero temperatures and snowfall as far south as the border with Mexico. The polar air that descended on Texas lasted many days, leading to a statewide crisis as energy grids failed to supply enough power, fuels froze, and water pipes burst. Why did it happen? Experts explain.

  • Water securityA Looming Crisis for Local U.S. Water Systems?

    By Sara Frueh

    Water bills in the U.S. are eating up a growing share of household budgets — and becoming increasingly unaffordable for low-income families. In many cities, shrinking populations and aging infrastructure mean increasingly unaffordable water.

  • ARGUMENT: Power outagesLessons from the Texas Grid Disaster: Planning and Investing for a Different Future

    It is now a week out from the start of the massive Texas grid failure. Alexandra Klass writes that at this point we already know that freezing wind turbines – in fact, wind turbines outperformed grid operator expectations, despite the extreme cold, and the outages would have been worse without the wind energy that remained online. the state’s electric grid failed for a very simple reason—because Texas power plant operators do not insulate their facilities for sustained cold temperatures. As a result, pipes and equipment needed to run the state’s natural gas plants, nuclear plants, and wind turbines froze.

  • Texas power outagesTexas Leaders Failed to Heed Warnings Which Left the State's Power Grid Vulnerable to Winter Extremes, Experts Say

    By Erin Douglas, Kate McGee, and Jolie McCullough

    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.

  • Texas power outages“We’re in It Alone”: Power Outages Leave Millions of Texans Desperate for Heat and Safety

    By Shannon Najmabadi and Marissa Martinez

    Millions of Texans suffered through Monday night without power as a massive winter blitz sent temperatures plunging, shuttered grocery stores and caused widespread outages. Texas residents said the storm — and ensuing partial collapse of the state’s power system — sapped what mental reserves they had left after eleven months of a global health crisis that has cost thousands of jobs and claimed more than 40,000 lives in the state.

  • Texas power outagesUPDATES: More People Could Lose Electricity, Heat as Crisis Persists

    By Erin Douglas, Ross Ramsey

    Energy experts, local leaders and residents said energy and state officials failed to properly prepare people for the mass outages coinciding with dangerous weather that’s already led to at least 10 deaths. Texas largely relies on natural gas — especially during times of high demand — to power the state. Experts say natural gas infrastructure, from pumping it out of the ground to the plants in city centers, was unprepared for the plunging temperatures brought by the winter storm.

  • WildfiresNew Timeline of Deadliest California Wildfire Could Guide Lifesaving Research, Action

    The November 2018 was the costliest disaster worldwide in 2018 and, having caused 85 deaths and destroyed more than 18,000 buildings, it became both the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history, two records the fire still holds today. What made the Camp Fire so devastating? And what lessons can we learn to prevent another disaster of this scale?

  • PandemicL.A. Imposes Sweeping COVID Restrictions

    Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles has issued an order for residents to stay at home and minimize other contacts. The order, which supersedes one from June, prohibits public and private gatherings of people from more than one household and states that all businesses in the city which require people to work on location must stop operations. Walking, driving, travel on public transport, bikes, motorcycles and scooters are prohibited, other than for those undertaking essential activities.

  • FloodsOne in Six Historic Resources in Colorado Is in a Floodplain

    Colorado has lost several of its important historic landmarks to disasters. The 2013 floods, for instance, destroyed a WPA-era shelter in Lyons and severely damaged the town’s historic library. A new study reaches a sobering conclusion, that one in six historic resources in Colorado is at risk from a flood disaster, yet few communities proactively plan for their protection.

  • Energy securityEnergy security The Promise of California Offshore Wind Energy

    As California aims to provide 60 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045, a Cal Poly study provides some good news: Offshore winds along the Central Coast increase at the same time that people start using more energy — in the evening.

  • WildfiresWildfire in Northern California's Coastal Ranges on the Rise Since 1984

    High-severity wildfires in northern coastal California have been increasing by about 10 percent per decade since 1984, according to a new study. From Berryessa to Klamath Mountains, High-Severity Burns Quadrupled During Warm Drought.

  • WildfiresDoes Experiencing Wildfires Create Political Consensus on Resilience Measures?

    By Bruce E. Cain

    As of last weekend [12-13 September], 97 large fires have burned 4.7 million acres across the American West, causing widespread evacuations in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Utah.  The smoke from these summer wildfires has spread very widely over the region, curtailing outdoor activity and sending many to the hospitals with respiratory ailments, heat attacks and strokes.  Will this move us any closer to achieving a consensus on the topic of dealing with climate change?