14 episodes

Millions of Texans lost power during a winter storm in February. Hundreds may have died. And people wondered: “How could this happen in the energy capital of the U.S.?” To understand how we got the electric grid we have in Texas today, you have to understand the electric grid we had up until a little more than 20 years ago — and how a group of power companies, environmentalists, cities and state lawmakers hatched a plan to completely remake it. Did the experiment fail? Hosted by Mose Buchele and produced at KUT & KUTX Studios.

The Disconnect: Power, Politics and the Texas Blackout KUT & KUTX Studios, Mose Buchele

    • News
    • 4.9 • 229 Ratings

Millions of Texans lost power during a winter storm in February. Hundreds may have died. And people wondered: “How could this happen in the energy capital of the U.S.?” To understand how we got the electric grid we have in Texas today, you have to understand the electric grid we had up until a little more than 20 years ago — and how a group of power companies, environmentalists, cities and state lawmakers hatched a plan to completely remake it. Did the experiment fail? Hosted by Mose Buchele and produced at KUT & KUTX Studios.

    The Toll

    The Toll

    In the time since the blackout, state officials, ERCOT and power generators have tried to convince Texans that they’ve got things under control. But a lot of people aren’t convinced. And with good reason. In this episode, we’ll explore how the trauma of the blackout is still with us — and how we still haven’t dealt with the true toll of the disaster. We’ll hear from one family who lost an entire generation.

    • 36 min
    The Money

    The Money

    Texans have seen their electric bills rise dramatically since the blackouts last year. We’ll break down all the links in the electric supply chain that each need to get paid — and explain how we’ll still be paying the costs of the blackout for decades to come. The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of […]

    • 45 min
    The Fixes

    The Fixes

    A year and a half after the blackout, lots of Texans are still wondering if they can rely on the power grid. After conservation alerts and one pretty close call this summer, it can seem like the grid is still on a knife’s edge. We look at what’s changed, what hasn’t and how that lack […]

    • 46 min
    The Midnight Connection

    The Midnight Connection

    We’ve already learned how Texas (or at least most of it) is an energy island — mostly cut off from grids in other states. In this episode, we’ll hear about the time when one power company went rogue and threw a transmission line across the Oklahoma border. This is the story of why they tried […]

    • 34 min
    BONUS: The Megawatt We Don't Use

    BONUS: The Megawatt We Don't Use

    We’ve talked about the supply-side fixes — but what about the demand side? The Disconnect Season 2 is a project of The Texas Newsroom, the collaboration among NPR and the public radio stations in the state. It received support from FRONTLINE’s Local Journalism Initiative, which is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight […]

    • 18 min
    The Energy Island

    The Energy Island

    It was only when the lights went out in Texas that many of us realized — electrically — we are all alone. Claire McInerny brings us that story. Plus, Jimmy Maas tells us how the electricity market in Texas used to work up until about 20 years ago. Find a full transcript of this episode […]

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
229 Ratings

229 Ratings

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This is Why I’m a KUT Sustaining Member!

The quality, the sensitivity, and the depth of this reporting is why I’m a sustaining KUT member. Your reporting is something Texans CAN be proud of, when there is so much our lawmakers do about which we should be concerned. Thank you!

Harvey Farmer ,

Must Listen!

If you live in Texas or use electricity anywhere (except if you are off the grid) this is a must listen! Excellent research and reporting by the KUT team - this is a complex and nuanced topic and they did a great job making it more accessible.

Wil347 ,

A tale for our times

This is a story about Texas that addresses some of the biggest national questions of our time: aging infrastructure, the legacy of deregulation, market enterprise vs. regulation, the historical role of “public goods,” and so much more. Wonderful production of a fascinating and meaningful story.

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