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Texas Matters: Is the grid winter-ready? How SB4 will impact children of the undocumented; and the greed behind the book bans.

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Texans are again wondering if the electric grid is going to hold up during the winter.

Recently officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state’s main power grid, announced there was an almost 17 percent chance of a blackout during this winter.

This is because demand for electricity has grown, and during past extreme winter storms, demand for electric power spiked well beyond official forecasts.

This is not welcomed news. To learn more, I spoke to Doug Lewin, the author of the Texas Energy and Power newsletter and the president of Stoic Energy.

Texas Show Me Your Papers

Last month during the most recent special legislative session, Governor Greg Abbott asked for and got a state law that would allow Texas law enforcement to arrest people for being in the state illegally.

It’s sitting on Abbott’s desk, and he hasn’t signed it yet.

It’s called SB4 – but that name doesn’t communicate much, which is why some are calling it the Texas “Show Me Your Papers Law.”

Opponents are saying it will lead to racial profiling by police. Some wonder if it’s constitutional. Similar laws in other border states have been struck down by the Supreme Court, but today’s high court could be more agreeable to Abbott.

Linda Corchado is the director of the Children’s Immigration network: Children at Risk. She says there will be alarming consequences for Texas Children when SB4 becomes law in March.

Greed behind Book Bans

Last month during a marathon school board meeting for Conroe ISD, just north of Houston, there was the debate over which books students should be allowed to read.

One 20-year-old woman named Lanah Burkhardt was given her chance to speak and told the board the story that when she was eleven years old, she read a Scholastic book that included scene with a kiss. Burkhardt said that experience eventually caused her to become addicted to pornography.

That night the Conroe ISD school board passed a revised controversial library book policy, making the book removal process lengthier. The school district has removed 125 books from its library.

But what about Lanah Burkhardt – and her story? Ju Judd Legum of the investigative journalism website Popular Information checked it out.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi