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A success story in Texas

Published: Sat, January 18, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Longview (Texas) News-Journal: It was disconcerting during this week’s bitter cold to receive news the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, was warning that conservation measures were required to prevent rolling blackouts.

Certainly it was cold, but our first thought was to wonder how one deep freeze could lead to such a warning. The next day we learned Texas had set a record for winter power usage, so perhaps the measures were understandable.

As it turned out, the conservation measures were enough to maintain the integrity of the system with no blackouts.

Even temporary power outages during the coldest times could present danger for some East Texans.

It reminded us that Texas is the only state with its own power grid, completely separate from the rest of the states. And ERCOT is the organization responsible for managing electrical delivery.

While the council is made up of representatives from power providers, it is governed by the Public Utilities Commission and the Texas Legislature, making it a quasi-governmental agency.

The good news is that ERCOT works — very well.

It is fashionable these days to criticize all kinds of government agencies, but the fact is that on certain issues, nothing but the government is positioned to perform as well.

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