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Top Morning Stories January 11, 2011

The Texas legislative session kicks off today.
Photo by Erik Reyna for KUT News.
The Texas legislative session kicks off today.

Watch the 2011 Legislative Session from Home

Today is day one of the 2011 Texas legislative session.  If you want to be in the know on what's happening on the House floor, you can watch from your couch.  The City of Austin's Channel 6 (Time Warner Digital Channel 6, Grande Channel 6, AT&T U-verse Channel 99) will broadcast House sessions live on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.  Travis County TV (Time Warner Digital Channel 17) will broadcast the Thursday and Friday sessions.  AISD TV (Time Warner Digital Channel 22) will broadcast the Texas Senate sessions.  For more information on these live broadcasts click here.

Breaking Down Texas Electric Use in 2010

ERCOT, the electric grid operator for most of the state, has released some stats on 2010 usage.  Here are some interesting tidbits from ERCOT's news release:

  • The ERCOT region's electricity use increased 3.5 percent in 2010
  • Wind energy represented 7.8 percent of the total energy, compared to 6.2 percent in 2009.
  • Coal plants provided 39.5 percent of the year's energy, which was 2.9 percent higher than in 2009.
  • Natural gas provided 38.2 percent of the year's energy, down 3.9 percent from 2009

Freezing Weather in the Forecast Tonight

Get ready for more cold weather! Meteorologists say we can expect a hard freeze in Central Texas tonight, with lows around 20 degrees.  Temperatures in the teens are possible for parts of the Hill Country.  The Austin Water Utility has some cold weather tips to prepare:

  • Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home.
  • Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside faucets with Styrofoam cover, rags or paper.
  • Cover vents around the foundation of your home.