In an exclusive interview with NGI, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) on Friday voiced confidence that Texas is doing everything it can to prevent a blackout from occurring in the state. Cornyn made his comments after meeting with officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) at the end of the week and touring ERCOT’s control room.

“With the energy bill in conference committee and with the reliability of the electrical grid still a matter of deep concern following the blackout in the Northeast on Aug. 14, I wanted to go down to view ERCOT and to find out more about it,” Cornyn noted in explaining the rationale behind his trip to the electrical grid operator.

“What I learned was that what we have in Texas with ERCOT… really represents a model for the rest of the nation in terms of competition and choice for consumers and lower costs and reliability and so I was very impressed with what I saw,” the federal lawmaker added.

“I feel confident that with the redundancies built into the system there at ERCOT that we’re doing everything humanly possible to avoid a situation such as happened in the Northeast,” Cornyn told Power Market Today. “I would say I feel very confident that we’re doing everything that we need to be doing in order to prevent that situation from happening in Texas.”

Cornyn noted that “we are debating in the Senate conference committee some of the issues relating to electricity generation and security and reliability. People are looking at what we have in Texas as a model,” he said.

“The one thing I came back from that visit believing is number one, Texas is not California and number two, Texas is not the northeastern part of the United States in terms of the vulnerability of our electrical grid,” Cornyn went on to say.

Cornyn noted that he was accompanied on his trip to ERCOT by his energy legislative assistant “and I think, in addition to the briefing, we established good contacts staff-to-staff in order to maintain regular contact. Obviously these are enormously complex issues.”

Cornyn said that along with national issues addressed during his trip, there were also “Texas concerns in terms of making sure that people don’t mess with what we have in Texas, which is a pretty good thing.”

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