News

Power Outage Update & Survey of Damage

February 18, 2021

Power Closer to Full Restoration

Power has been restored to another 2 million homes across Texas. There are still hundreds of thousands to go. We know now that around 185 generation units tripped offline and today we still have 36,000 MW offline – 14,600 MW wind and solar and 21,400 MW thermal (nuclear, coal and natural gas).

At this time, if you are still without power it is possible that power lines are down or the provider needs to manually reconnect to get you power. Please contact your provider if you suspect this is the case. Every truck available for repairs should be dispatched working to fix any lines that remain down around the state.

More items have now been added to the Texas Legislature’s emergency agenda including mandatory winterization of power generators and systems. As I wrote yesterday this was a major cause of the failures this week. An estimated one-half the electric generation capacity went offline because plants and related facilities weren’t properly winterized.

Over the coming weeks as we investigate we will identify all of the causes, issue findings and propose solutions. Everyone wants to know who to blame. Please understand, there is not going to be a single person or agency bearing all the fault.

Much fault will be found at the regulatory levels of ERCOT and the Public Utility Commission. Some companies within the electric power industry will have failed. And there will be blame to lay at the feet of the Texas Legislature where I serve. The important thing is to correct this where it will never happen again. I commit to you that we will get this done.

Survey of Statewide Damage

At the request of Texas Division of Emergency Management, emergency managers across the state of Texas have been asked to collect damage assessment data for this unprecedented winter storm. The state will use the data they collect to attempt to open up disaster relief to citizens.

I encourage you to take the time to fill this out and share with friends and family. There is a request in to the federal government asking for a major disaster declaration. If this is granted, this will allow individuals to apply for assistance with FEMA to restore damage to homes if it is not covered by insurance.

If you have experienced damage, please click on the link below:
https://arcg.is/uOrOb

The attached QR Code will also take you to the link.

Insurance Tips Following Winter Storms

  • Call your insurance company ASAP
  • Document damage with lists, photo’s, etc.
  • Take steps to further prevent damage
  • Keep receipts of all related expenses
  • Be ready for questions about damages
  • Keep notes of conversations about your claim
  • Ask if advance payment is required
  • Ask if alternate living expenses are covered
  • Try to be there when adjuster comes
  • Save proof that you paid your deductible
  • For more information and how to make sure to avoid fraud visit Texas Department of Insurance HERE.


Water Bills & Other Needs

I know many of you have expressed concerns over possible large water bills from this winter storm due to dripping faucets, leaks or busted pipes. I have talked to many of our local water providers and they have indicated they will be working with customers. Please be on the look out for more information.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office. We will try to assist in any way we can. There are a lot of local resources available if you are in need of food, water or any other critical provision at this time.

I am very proud of our local community for stepping up in this crisis. There are countless stories where our first responders, chambers, emergency managers, churches and local officials have risen up to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our citizens, friends and neighbors.

I hope you are safe and thawing out now. I’m nervous over a few of our yet frozen pipes and I am sure you are too. I know our well house has a large block of ice protruding from the booster pump! Not a good sign.

I know this has created dire situations for many of our residents and rest assured we will get to the truth and never let this happen again. I know for me this has been a reminder to be thankful for the many things I so often take for granted. We live in such a great time and place that we forget what a blessing it is to have simple things like heat in the cold and electricity and water in abundance.

Please pray for our State. Please pray for help for everyone with damaged homes and businesses. Pray especially for those who are most vulnerable and unable to easily recover.

Join me tomorrow morning on the Mark Davis show, 660 AM, at 8:35 am to talk about these blackouts.

Update on Power Outages

February 17, 2021

Friends,

I wish I had better news to deliver but I fear we will not be back to normal power for a few more days. The hardships that Texans are enduring is completely unacceptable. Without a doubt, this crisis should have and could have been averted. The good news is when this does end, and it WILL, changes can and will be made to prevent large scale cold weather blackouts like this from occurring again.

More generation is coming online every few hours and we are getting closer to a more stable environment with scheduled outages but we aren’t there yet. Some improvements have already been made like Governor Abbott’s executive order requiring distributors selling natural gas to sell to Texas power generators and not send supply out of state so more generation can return online.

Texas’ electric power industry does a very good job preparing for and responding to other natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes. Texas actually has more natural disasters than any other state. But winter storms are a different matter.

Texas had a smaller but similar cold weather crisis in 2011. Then about 8,000 megawatts of power was lost and forced offline.(And we thought that was a crisis!) This time we lost about 45,000 megawatts which is over half of the total power available in Texas’ ERCOT power grid. Once these power plants shut down it created a cascade of secondary failures across the grid.
(ERCOT is the quasi-government organization that has, along with the Public Utility Commission, oversight of the generation, transmission and delivery of electricity.)

After the 2011 winter storm outage, the Legislature held hearings, passed legislation and we were assured the winterization problem was corrected. This wouldn’t happen again. Well, it’s Wednesday and power has been out at millions of homes since Sunday evening.

I sit on the Texas House State Affairs Committee and we will begin investigative hearings on this next week. I anticipate many days of hearings and workgroups. But when all the layers are peeled back, I suspect we will find three primary causes for the statewide blackouts:

1) Some power plants failed to winterize their water intake system thus shutting down the plant.
2) Other natural gas fired power plants failed to make sure they’d have sufficient natural gas available as fuel or their supplier was unable to deliver the fuel with the weather conditions. And,
3) There was unreasonable reliance on wind powered turbines and solar generation (that don’t perform reliably in cold/icing conditions or limited sun).

The frustrating thing is that these problems were not unforeseeable. In fact, much of this was revealed in 2011!

Most of the blame will lay with failed oversight by ERCOT and some also with the Public Utility Commission. We will no doubt find serious management deficiencies at ERCOT. But we may also find ERCOT and the PUC lack sufficient regulatory or enforcement authority. Winterization standards will have to be codified and strictly enforced. It will be the Legislature’s responsibility to make sure this type of cascade failure never happens again.

Please join me on the Mark Davis show, 660 AM, at 8:35 Friday morning to talk about these blackouts.

WARMING CENTERS

Wise County warming center is open at the Decatur Civic Center at 2010 W Business 380 Decatur.  For more information click HERE.  

Parker County

Hudson Oaks Site is now closed. 
Willow Park Christ Chapel in Willow Park Upper Level: 3906 IH-20 East Service Road Access Willow Park 76087. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Weatherford WISD 9th Grade Center 1007 South Main Weatherford, TX 76086. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Azle The Church at Azle 1801 South Stewart Street Azle, TX 76020. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The First Baptist Church Springtown 500 N Main St, Springtown, TX 76082 Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The Hilltop Church Springtown 1227 Old Cottondale Rd, Springtown, TX 76082. No Pets. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed.

Power Update

February 16, 2021

Friends,

The latest update from Oncor can be found HERE. I will make certain that the legislature takes up this issue of outages immediately! I have already been in contact with the Speaker and the Chair for the State Affairs committee discussing hearings as soon as we can reconvene session.  Similar problems on a smaller scale occurred in 2011. We directed upgrades to the power system then. This should not be occurring. We must order dramatic upgrades and it will be expensive. But this should not ever happen again. Believe me, our friends who work in the electric power industry agree. They are working hard to get power restored. They are as frustrated as we are. It has been a cascade of problems that caused these outages. All of this can be corrected for the future. 

Continue to pray for those in critical situations. Help wherever you have opportunity.

Wise County Warming Center is open at the Decatur Civic Center at 2010 W Business 380 Decatur.  For more information click HERE.  

Parker County Warming Center

Willow Park Christ Chapel in Willow Park Upper Level: 3906 IH-20 East Service Road Access Willow Park 76087. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Weatherford WISD 9th Grade Center 1007 South Main Weatherford, TX 76086. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Azle The Church at Azle 1801 South Stewart Street Azle, TX 76020. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The First Baptist Church Springtown 500 N Main St, Springtown, TX 76082 Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The Hilltop Church Springtown 1227 Old Cottondale Rd, Springtown, TX 76082. No Pets. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed.

Unprecedented Demands on the Electricity Grid

February 15, 2021

Friends,
 I know many of you are frustrated with the outages of electricity, gas and water many of us are experiencing right now.  The power at our home began cycling off and on every ten minutes or so yesterday evening and went completely down at 1:40 am.  I know many others are in the same predicament.  This article has some answers as to the current situation we are facing.

The bottom line, it’s a combination of unseen demand and power generation disruptions. Over 30,000 MW of generation was forced off the system this morning and over 2 million without power.  The disruptions are due to fuel shortages, grid overload and other mechanical failures. For example, 1/2 of all wind turbines are frozen. (No excuse for that!) In many areas the local power distribution grid can’t carry the power demand. Just like an extension cord, the power lines in your neighborhood have a capacity limit.

Please be patient. This weather will pass. It’s hard on everyone especially elderly and families with young children.  Please pray for those who are in a critical situation. 
Sincerely,

WARMING CENTER

If you are in Wise County – a warming shelter has been set up at the Decatur Conference Center.  More details can be found HERE.  The on site number for more information is 940-393-0280.

Parker County Warming Centers

Hudson Oaks 100 Cinema Drive Hudson Oaks, TX 76087. This is the new High Ridge Church (in old City Lights building).

Willow Park Christ Chapel in Willow Park Upper Level: 3906 IH-20 East Service Road Access Willow Park 76087. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Weatherford WISD 9th Grade Center 1007 South Main Weatherford, TX 76086. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Azle The Church at Azle 1801 South Stewart Street Azle, TX 76020. PETS IN CRATES ONLY. Hours of operation for this center are NOON today thru 8AM Wednesday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The First Baptist Church Springtown 500 N Main St, Springtown, TX 76082 Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed. 
Springtown The Hilltop Church Springtown 1227 Old Cottondale Rd, Springtown, TX 76082. No Pets. Hours of operation for this center are all day today thru 8AM Thursday morning and a decision will be made to extend operations as needed.


ERCOT Updates
For up to date information on the ERCOT grid, tips on how to conserve energy or to track electricity supply & demand in Texas click HERE.  

Emergency Items for the Legislature

February 7, 2021

Governor Abbott State Of The State Address 

The Governor has prioritized five key emergency items for the Legislature to address during the 140-day legislative session.  Each of these items can be taken up during the first 60 days of the session; unlike other bills affected by the 60-day calendar rule.  

Additionally the legislature was also tasked with prioritizing other critical issues as follows:  

Election Integrity – We must never allow our elections to be hijacked.  We will be shoring up loopholes where fraud runs rampant.  

Protecting Life – Ensuring the life of every child is protected and not targeted for abortion.

Religious Freedom – Protecting the First Amendment by preventing any governmental entity from shutting down or oppressing religious activities within Texas.  

Second Amendment Sanctuary State – 2nd Amendment rights shall not be infringed and we will preserve constitutional right to bear arms. 

Small Business Protections – Small business is the backbone of our economy so we need to help ensure those businesses are protected from liability during the pandemic.

I look forward to working with Governor Abbott and my other colleagues in the Texas Legislature to pass these critical initiatives and protections into law.  I am working on several of my own initiatives in these key areas.       

Keystone Pipeline Cancelled  – Killing Jobs in America and Canada

With President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, he effectively destroyed thousands of jobs in America and Canada. The Keystone XL pipeline was set to carry oil about 1,200 miles from the oil sands of the Canadian province of Alberta all the way to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would join an existing pipe to our Texas coast. This pipeline could carry over 800,000 barrels of oil a day. 

Not only is President Biden’s decision to cancel the pipeline a huge blow to both countries’ economies, but it is also a huge insult to one of our closest allies to cancel this pipeline on the administration’s first day in office. Alberta’s premier, Jason Kenney, even called it a “gut-punch.”

Sadly, this is just another example of how the left has cut jobs, destroyed economic opportunity, and hurt hardworking families. It’s time for Texas to step up. And I’m ready to lead the way to a more prosperous future by standing with Canada and standing up to President Biden. This session, I am making it a top priority to champion initiatives that support the energy sector. I will fight to restore oil and gas jobs so that Texas can remain a beacon of hope and a land of opportunity. 

Click on image to watch video

 Spotlight on HCR 14 – 10th Amendment Resolution

Recently, I filed a HCR 14 claiming state sovereignty under the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution over all powers otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the US Constitution

This resolution is to certify that the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees we have states’ rights that the federal government may not usurp. Unless it is specifically enumerated in the Constitution, Texas has the authority to govern its people according to our own values, beliefs, and wishes.

I am very proud of this resolution and will always champion initiatives that give Texas the freedom to act without the oversight of the federal government. I am confident this resolution will give us the opportunity to assert our own rights and shine a light on our independent and trailblazing spirit.

Parker County Hospital District to serve as Regional Hub & Bill Filed to Reform Texas’ Self-Defense laws

January 24, 2021

Parker County Hospital District to serve as Regional Rural Vaccine Hub  

We are so excited to announce that Parker County was selected by the Texas Department of State Health Services to serve as a Regional Rural Vaccine Hub for all House District 61 constituents as well as residents in the surrounding counties.    

By the end of next week, Texas will have been allocated around 2 million doses of vaccine.  It is estimated that around 13 million Texans qualify under 1A and 1B out of 29.5 million total Texans.  

The demand still far exceeds the supply coming to Texas.  It is expected when the Johnson and Johnson one dose vaccine comes online, that is when we will really see a significant increase in the supply to Texas.    

If you are eligible as part of group 1A or 1B and have not currently signed up or been put on a wait list, you can visit https://www.pchdtx.org to schedule your appointment to receive the vaccine.   

This opportunity to serve as a regional hub is a true triumph for Parker County, and I am so excited to be able to contribute in making sure our community stays healthy.  Special appreciation goes to my chief of staff, Ashley Westenhover, who did such a great job putting this together! 

I want to assure you that these vaccines are purely voluntary.  I strongly believe in individual liberties and completely respect the wishes of an individual to either get a vaccination or choose not to. As your representative, I will always fight for you to have the resources, tools, and ability to make your own choices and direct your life as you see fit.

Rally for Life 

On January 22, 1973 the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in Roe v. Wade, kicking off a battle to protect the life of the unborn that still continues today, 48 years later. Did you know that abortion was the leading cause of death in the world in 2019 with estimated 73.3 million unborn babies. 

Yesterday the 2021 Rally for Life was held on the State Capitol steps with hundreds gathering to oppose the legalization of abortion and continue efforts to protect all lives.

Featured Bill of the Week: Critical Reform to Texas’ Self-Defense Laws

 Recently I filed HB 796 to clean up Texas’ self-defense laws to make sure what happened to the the McCloskey family in St. Louis will never happen in Texas.  The bill addresses a conflict between terms used in Texas’ justified defense and aggravated assault statues and also adds the offense of arson to those violent crimes where Castle Doctrine-style protections would apply when force or deadly force is used.  

This bill clarifies that Texans merely “exhibiting” a weapon in self-defense could not have felony charges applied.  We have also seen an increase in fire against buildings or vehicles as a hallmark of violence so this bill would also include such crimes in penal code where Castle Doctrine style protections apply to further protect individuals and business owners who must thwart such dangerous conduct by the use of force or deadly force.   

State Representative Phil King represents Parker and Wise counties in the Texas House of Representatives.

Fort Worth Star Telegram: ‘For all the marbles’: Political maps back on drawing board

December 1, 2020

Texas Failing 2020 Census & Covid-Killing Air System for Schools

August 24, 2020

Complete the 2020 Census: Why Does it Matter?

Texas ranks 39th with only 59.4% of Texans responding to the census.  The deadline to complete the count is September 30, 2020, just around the corner. 

Much of the federal funding that comes to Texas is allocated on a per capita basis.  Federal funding comes from your hard earned taxed dollars that were sent to Washington, DC.  So, regardless of how we feel about federal programs, we want to get as much of our money back in Texas as we can to help fund roads, hospitals, first responders, schools, etc (over 100 federal programs).  Let’s not stand for our tax dollars going to another state.  

Also, the 435 U.S. Congressional seats are apportioned between states based on population.  Prior to the pandemic, estimates of a full count suggest Texas could have 39 seats, three more than our current 36.  However, at the current response rate, we could actually lose congressional representation.  That just sends Texas’ clout to other states.  

Finally, an accurate census lets us know where people reside along with other basic demographic information.  This helps state and local governments (and business) more efficiently allocate resources for everything from transportation to water to education.  As with everything, unreliable data leads to poor planning and mistakes.  

If you haven’t already, please join me in completing the Census by visiting https://my2020census.gov/.  

Slidell ISD in Wise County first school district to deploy COVID-killing air filtration system

 I could not be more proud of Slidell ISD.  This technology will provide unparalleled safety and peace of mind.  This just shows you don’t have to be big to lead in Texas – just smart, innovative and willing to take a different path.

To read more about IVP system featured in Wise County Messenger click HERE.

Clay Shoot Tournament

On September 24th I will be hosting a Clay Shoot Tournament to support my re-election campaign.  I have an opponent in the general election.  If you are interested in forming a team, shooting as an individual or just joining for lunch please let us know!  Hope to see you there.  For more information click HERE.   

My Thoughts on Police Powers and Community Prayer Gathering

June 7, 2020

Editorial in Fort Worth Star Telegram 

To download click HERE

Prayer Gathering  

Please join me tonight at Heritage Park at 7:00 pm.  Let’s join together and pray for our nation. 

Property Owner Protections & CARES Act Funds for Local Jurisdictions

May 13, 2020

Higher Burden After Successful Appraisal Protest

Many times I’ve heard constituents complain of appealing their new property tax appraisal, prevailing in that appeal, only to see their valuation raised right back up at the next appraisal. This hasn’t been unique to Parker and Wise counties. Last year I was able to pass a property owner protection measure to address this problem. (Honestly, I knew it would help but it is apparently having a much broader impact than I expected.) 

HB 1313, which went in to effect Jan. 1, prohibits an appraisal district, after a successful appeal by a property owner, from increasing a valuation during the next appraisal cycle without “clear and convincing” evidence to justify the increase. Clear and convincing is the highest standard of proof in civil law. 

So how does this play out? State law requires county appraisal districts to reappraise all property at least once every three years.  In Parker County, for example, which reappraises every other year, this means without clear and convincing evidence your valuation could be locked in for four years.  In Wise County, where property is reappraised annually, for two years.  

In this article published Monday in the Fort Worth Star Telegram the chief appraiser credited HB1313 with holding down appraisal increases in Tarrant County. “Of Tarrant County’s 662,100 residential and commercial accounts, 171,345 didn’t change in market value and 283,345 saw a decrease, said Jeff Law, Tarrant County’s chief appraiser. … One big reason for the smaller than average increases in appraisals, Law said, is because of a new law that went into effect Jan. 1.”

Let’s hope HB1313 produces the same help to property owners all across Texas.


Counties and Cities Eligible for Federal Coronavirus Relief Fund 

Texas received $11.24 billion from the United States Department of Treasury to direct toward coronavirus related expenses.  Within the funding provided by the federal CARES Act, 45% of Texas’ allocation – approximately $5.06 billion – was designated for local governments.  Unfortunately, the fed required priority to local jurisdictions with over 500,000 in population meaning that just six cities and 12 counties in Texas will receive $3.2 billion of the available funding for local jurisdictions.  That leaves approximately $1.85 billion that the state can make available to all other cities and counties in Texas. 

These charts, produced by the state, show what these allocations could look like for Parker and Wise counties.  (Note – there are a few incorporated jurisdictions that were left off unintentionally that my office is working to correct.) 

The Texas Capitol remains closed to the public but I want you to know that my office is open for business. You can reach me anytime at 512-463-0738 or phil.king@house.texas.gov. The same is true for your Parker County and Wise County local elected officials. Although this is unprecedented territory for local government, they have done a remarkable job. I have never seen the level of coordination and cooperation between jurisdictions. It’s one of the reasons that Parker and Wise will be among the first to recover from this shutdown.