Gutting the Grid

What to know: One of the nation’s largest grid operators warns the U.S. is retiring too many reliable fossil fuel-fired power plants, and adding too much unreliable renewable energy.

The TPPF take: The Public Utility Commission of Texas says we need more investment in generation to fix the Texas grid, but what we really need is smarter investment.

“We are replacing gas and coal generators—which can consistently operate with greater than 90% availability during peak demand periods—with a resource like wind, which can vary from less than 10% to more than 60% availability. When the wind generator isn’t required to match the availability of the coal or gas generator, it is no wonder our electricity supply is becoming more volatile and our grid more unreliable,” says TPPF’s Brent Bennett.

For more on grid reliability, click here

Cutting Off the Credit Card

What to know: State lawmakers have introduced legislation “to eliminate non-voter approved debt issuance by local governments and scrap a 2019 provision that allows low-population counties to raise property tax rates above the new limits.” If passed, the proposals would close loopholes that are being abused to go deeper into debt.

The TPPF take: Local governments are addicted to debt and it’s time for the Legislature to intervene.

“Texas’ local governments are deep in debt and the hole keeps getting deeper and deeper. It’s time for the Texas Legislature to get involved to impose commonsense reforms,” says TPPF’s James Quintero. “Close the loopholes.”

For more on local debt, click here.

Where are the Girls?

What to know: More and more states—and now Kansas—are considering laws to reserve girls’ sports for biological girls.

The TPPF take: When did it become OK to erase women?

“Here’s just one example. Where are men and women, boys and girls in the sex education curriculum adopted by the Fort Worth school district? They’re absent, and there’s no excuse,” writes state Rep. Ellen Troxclair for The Cannon Online. “They’ve been replaced with new terms, ‘body with a vagina’ and ‘body with a penis.’ FWISD has backtracked and pulled the curriculum, but the message was clear: we’re beyond girls and boys.”

For more on erasing women and girls, click here.