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New Podcast Examines the Texas Electric Grid and how it was Deregulated

The Disconnect_KUT:X.png

“The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout” looks at more than a century of events that led up to February

AUSTIN, Texas – July 26, 2021 – In February 2021, in the midst of a brutal winter storm, the lights went out for millions of Texans. Hundreds died. Many more were left shivering in their homes. How could something like this happen in the energy capital of the U.S.?

The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout,” a new podcast from the award-winning KUT newsroom in Austin, looks at more than a century of events that led up to February — and what happens now.

Hosted by KUT energy and environment reporter Mose Buchele, the five-part podcast examines how the Texas electric grid works, the push to deregulate the grid in the 1990s, how the rise of fracking and renewable energy transformed our energy system, and how all that history came to bare in the February blackout. Finally, the series asks what could be done to improve the grid, and whether the Texas legislature addressed these issues in the recent session.

“The blackout was a catastrophic failure. But one question we set out to answer in this project is: how much of that failure was the system breaking down, and how much was the system performing the way it was designed to perform,” said Buchele.

The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout” is available wherever podcasts are found. The five-part podcast series drops in three installments:

· July 22 (episode 1 “The Energy Island,” episode 2 “The Electricity Game”)

· July 29 (episode 3 “The Blackout”)

· Aug. 5 (episode 4 “The Fallout,” episode 5 “The Great Dam Failure”)

About KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station
KUT 90.5, Austin’s NPR station, delivers in-depth stories by and about people in Austin – for Austin – with the highest journalistic standards from a variety of thoughtful perspectives. A founding member of NPR, KUT News has won more than 250 state, national and international awards for journalistic excellence. A community of sustaining members and local businesses whose investments power the news and conversations that matter to Austin directly supports KUT’s work.

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Media contact: Erin Geisler for KUT News (512) 475-8071