News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

February’s Storm And Outages United Voters Wanting State Action, UT/TT Poll Finds

UT_TT_POLL_storm.jpg

Texas voters overwhelmingly support requiring energy providers to protect their facilities from bad weather, and a slim majority thinks the government should pay for that weatherization, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Having lived through a statewide winter freeze and electricity outages in February, 84% of Texas voters said those facilities should be weatherized, and 52% said government funds should pay for it.

"The main thing that the Legislature is talking about — weatherization — is the main thing that voters say they should do," said James Henson, co-director of the poll and head of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.

Other proposals have strong support: 81% of voters think the members of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, the state’s grid manager, should live in the state; 81% said companies and regulators should be required to ensure higher levels of reserve power to meet spikes in demand; 78% want a statewide disaster alert system.

UT_TT_POLL_storm_graphic.jpg

Legislation that does many of those things is still pending as the Legislature enters the last four weeks of its current session. One proposal that has received a lot of attention isn’t at the top of voters’ list: Just under half of the voters would ban services that let residential customers pay wholesale prices that can save money but that also expose them to mind-blowing bills during energy shortages. Only 49% of Texans said they would ban those products.

A plurality of Texans (43%) said the federal government is doing too little to address climate change, while 30% said it’s doing too much and 16% said it’s doing “about enough.” Asked that same question about what the state government is doing, 13% said too much, 43% said not enough, and 27% said “about enough.”

The University of Texas/Texas Tribune internet survey of 1,200 registered voters was conducted from April 16-22 and has an overall margin of error of +/- 2.83 percentage points. Numbers in charts might not add up to 100% because of rounding.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.