Headquarters of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, (Photo: Cassionhabib, via Shutterstock)
In February, Texas experienced a freak weather event, a deep freeze that shut down its electrical system, damaged its infrastructure and cost dozens of lives. The storm revealed the lack of preparation and investment by the Texas state government, the flaws of its system of deregulated privately-owned utilities, and the failures of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT. The latter is responsible for maintaining the state’s energy infrastructure.
Newly constructed homes waiting for owners. (Photo: Jennie Book, via Shutterstock)
Brianne Tufts is exhausted. This is the third place Tufts has lived in as many years, and she’s worried she’ll have to move again because her apartment complex might increase the rent now that her lease has expired. It’s just after 11 a.m. on a Sunday in April, and the 24-year-old mother of two sits on the balcony of her cramped 2-bedroom south Sacramento apartment watching intently as her daughters play in the living room.