AARP Texas Weighs in Big After Devastating Winter Storm

Posted on 03/08/21 by Mark Hollis

In the wake of Texa​s' calamitous mid-February winter storm, public and media attention focused recently on legislative probes into the causes and outcomes of widespread power outages. As a respected consumer voice, AARP Texas worked to shape the conversation around the concerns of seniors, medically vulnerable Texans and their families.

High voltage post,High voltage tower sky background

We launched a barrage of advocacy and communications tactics. Among them: a day-long storm of live tweeting, a Convio email and story-collection survey that yielded 4,000+ responses, a barrage of media interviews, a continuation of blog, podcast and social media blasts, and a letter to legislators that urges action on the "systemic issues that led to the Texas blackouts" and a continued focus on "long-term solutions" to "protect critical care facilities and consumers." 

The media interviews on an array of consumer-focused utilities issues were conducted primarily by ASD Tim Morstad. The interviews helped influence opinion articles, such as this Sunday, Feb. 28 Austin American-Statesman editorial, "Design the Texas power system to protect consumers." It also yielded roughly a dozen significant news media hits quoting Morstad, including national-reach stories by Reuters and The Wall Street Journal.​

​News Coverage​
​Here are some of the recent news stories about the power outages and our utilities-related advocacy that quote our in-house utilities expert Tim Morstad:
Reuters, Feb. 26 
Texas power crisis could cripple small marketers unravel market deregulation.

https://www.reuters.com/article/usa-weather-texas-power/texas-power-crisis-could-cripple-small-marketers-unravel-market-deregulation-idUSL1N2KW1J4
The Wall Street Journal, Feb. 24
Texas Electric Bills Were $28 Billion High Under Deregulation

https://www.wsj.com/articles/texas-electric-bills-were-28-billion-higher-under-deregulation-11614162780
​Houston Chronicle, Feb. 24, Griddy came to TX to disrupt the power market, but can it survive? https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/energy/article/Griddy-texas-electricity-retailer-power-market-15974433.php

​​ABC 13 Investigates consumers' pain after years of power grid neglect

https://abc13.com/13-investigates-consumers-pain-after-years-of-power-grid-neglect/10368176/

​The Texas Tribune, Feb. 22
Power companies get exactly what they want.

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/22/texas-power-grid-extreme-weather/?utm_source=articleshare&utm_medium=social
​The Texas Tribune, Feb. 22
Texans blindsided by massive electric bills await details of Gov Gre Abbott's promised relief

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/22/texas-pauses-electric-bills/
Texas Public Radio, Feb 20
Public Utility Commission Decision May Enable Largest Electricity Providers In Texas To Become More Powerful

https://www.tpr.org/texas/2021-02-20/public-utility-commission-decision-may-enable-largest-electricity-providers-in-texas-to-become-more-powerful


State Director Tina Tran speaks with ASD and resident utilities expert Tim Morstad during a Feb. 23 Facebook Live broadcast about the winter storm, what went wrong and what AARP is doing now.



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