These Texas Cities Work Harder Than Most in US

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMarch 6, 2017 9:53 am

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

It’s Monday, so for a lot of us, it’s back to work. And it turns out a lot of Texans live in some of the hardest working cities in the country.

Jill Gonzalez is with the website WalletHub, which looked at factors like the number of hours worked per week and how much of the population is working.

“About 10 of the top 25 cities here – all in Texas; we have Plano up at number 2 with one of the highest mean hours worked per week – around 41 hours – very high labor force participation rate at about 79 percent,” Gonzales says. “From there, we see a lot of other Texas cities really doing the same time of things. Irving, Corpus Christi both in the top 10. It then moves on to Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Garland rounding out the top 20.”

Gonzalez adds that another reason Texas cities turned out to be so hardworking was the number of people holding down more than one job – which was 4 percent across the board.

The electric grid that covers most of Texas is expected to have enough power through the summer – even though power demand is expected to hit a record high. Houston Public Media’s Travis Bubenik has the details:

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas says statewide power demand is expected to grow by 2.6 percent since last summer. Under all the forecast scenarios ERCOT looked at for the months ahead – there should be enough electricity to keep the lights on.

 But where that power’s coming from could change this year. For nearly all of 2016 – the grid got most of its power from natural gas. But in January, coal took the top spot – thanks to rising natural gas prices.

Some analysts say those prices could continue rising – pushing coal demand up – and that could also affect your electric bill. Warren Lasher is ERCOT’s Senior Director of System Planning.

 “For the most part – natural gas units are setting the marginal price of wholesale electricity in many hours in the ERCOT region,” he says. 

 So – more expensive natural gas likely means more expensive electricity. ERCOT’s forecasts include 4,000 megawatts of new power from natural gas, wind and solar expected to come online at the start of summer. 

Tomorrow, Texas lawmakers are holding a hearing on Senate Bill 6 – the so-called bathroom bill. Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe has more:

“The bill would force a transgender person to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender listed on their birth certificate,” Poppe says. “Testimony on the bill is expected to go long as more than 40 people have been invited to speak.  That does not include the hundreds of people expected to sign up and testify either for or against the legislation.  Several groups have planned rallies throughout the week to protest the bill.” 

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has been pushing for the bill which applies to public bathrooms.