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U.S. Senators Oppose Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s Plan to Privatize Federal Transmission Assets

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators asked Energy Secretary Rick Perry to reconsider a plan to auction off U.S. Department of Energy transmission assets used to deliver power from federally owned dams to utilities and rural cooperatives in 34 states on the grounds that privatization of these assets would cause rate...

NRECA Submits Comments to EPA Regarding Air, Waste, and Water Issues

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) submitted comments to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden from certain regulations under Executive Order 13777, which directs the heads of federal agencies to seek input from entities significantly affected by Federal regulations.  NRECA commented on various (i)...

Tennessee Governor Signs the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act, a bill permitting rural electric cooperatives to provide broadband services in the state.  This legislation is intended to increase the provision of broadband services to Tennessee’s unserved areas.

FEMA Awards $6 Million Grant to Bury Power Lines

FEMA has awarded Kootenai Electric Cooperative a $6 million federal grant to reduce power outages from storms.  The grant will go toward burying 45 miles of transmission and distribution lines.

D.C. Circuit Pauses Litigation Over Clean Power Plan

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit granted the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) stay request regarding the Clean Power Plan and ordered the parties to file briefs by May 15 on whether the cases should be remanded to the EPA or just kept on hold.  Since President Trump’s executive order last month regarding “energy independence,” the EPA has asked for additional time to review the...

NRECA Approves of the White House’s Announcement of the Rural America Task Force

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) praises the Trump Administration’s creation of the Rural America Task Force as a sign of future prioritization of the economic development of rural American communities.

EPA to Review Power Plant Effluent Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) announced that it will reconsider a rule that sets federal limits on the amount of toxic metal that may be discharged with power plants’ wastewater and has stayed the compliance dates in the rule. The EPA updated the rule in 2015 because the older version did not adequately address toxic metal discharges by not treating dissolved...

Trump to Roll Back Environmental Protection Agency Regulations

President Donald Trump is expected to issue an executive order Tuesday that would withdraw the Clean Power Plan.  The order is also expected to lift the moratorium on the federal coal program and ease restrictions on hydraulic fracturing.

Minnesota Governor Vetoes Bill on Electric Cooperative Disputes

Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton vetoed a bill that would have removed the Minnesota Public Utility Commission’s authority to settle certain electric utility disputes between cooperatives and coop customers, including billing disputes regarding customer installation of renewable energy sources.  The bill was passed by the state senate last week and, if approved, would have vested dispute...

Maine’s Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative to Dissolve

Swan’s Island Electric Cooperative members voted 265-29 in favor of dissolving one of the country’s smallest electric cooperatives.  The vote to sell their local utility to Emera Maine could close as early as March 31, 2017 and will effectively save the members $20 per month on their electricity bills but will sacrifice four full-time jobs and eight part-time jobs in a community...

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