Fire Fight

The offices of the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund are nestled in a wooded enclave near the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. On a cold, wet morning in early February, behind the glass doors and the blond-brick facade, the building offered refuge from the harsh reality outside. For more than 6,500 active firefighters and retirees, the HFRRF itself does exactly that, providing protection against forces that want to reduce their retirement benefits.

The Generation Gap

Just after seven a.m. on January 6, as Texans awakened to one of the coldest mornings in years, an email and social media alert went out from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas: “Reduce electric use now. Risk of power outages exist throughout Texas. Power warning in effect.” The last time a hard freeze gripped Texas so tightly, in February 2011, power blackouts rolled across much of the state as ERCOT, which operates the state’s power grid, struggled to meet the demand.

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