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Obama Administration Considers Pushing Back Clean Power Plan Deadlines

On Tuesday the New York Times reported that the Obama administration plans to push back Clean Power Plan deadlines.  Originally the Clean Power Plan required existing plants to develop a plan to cut emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030.  The Plan further required states to present a plan for implementing Plan rules by 2016 and begin compliance by 2020.  The Obama...

Texas Requests Fifth Circuit Review of US EPA Action

On Wednesday, Texas asked the Fifth Circuit to review an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decision requiring it to tighten air pollution regulations governing large industrial pollution sources, including power plants.  The EPA’s decision was based on the finding that portions of Texas’s previously approved state implementation plan do not meet the requirements of the Clean...

Coop Leaders Join President Obama for Solar Event

Bob Marshall, general manager of Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric Cooperative (Plumas-Sierra), and David Gottula, general manager of Okanogan County Electric Cooperative (Okanogan), joined President Obama at a May 9 event in Mountain View, California, at which the president highlighted electric cooperatives’ efforts to develop solar projects.  Plumas-Sierra has plans for a community and...

Coop Pension Bill Now Law

President Obama recently signed into law the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act, which provides coops in the Retirement Security Plan greater stability and lower cost pressures related to the Pension Protection Act of 2006.  To learn more about this development, click...

Bipartisan Support Builds for Size and Flexibility of RUS Lending Program

One hundred sixty-nine House members—89 Republicans and 80 Democrats—have voiced their support for the Obama Administration’s proposal to set funding of the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Electric Loan Program at $5 billion for fiscal year 2015.  However, they have also asked that the House agriculture appropriations subcommittee reject the Administration’s proposal to earmark...

Bond Rating Agencies Discount Talk of TVA Divestiture

The annual budget plan released by the Obama Administration earlier this month noted that the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) had achieved its original mission and should be sold or transferred to state governments or local power cooperatives in the Tennessee Valley.  Nonetheless, bond rating agencies Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s have discounted these proposals, and TVA has...

EPA Continues Work on Carbon Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency is continuing its efforts to issue a draft carbon rule by June 1, 2014.  The new rule, which will be issued under the Clean Air Act and based on a 2007 Supreme Court decision, will regulate carbon emissions from existing power facilities.  Click here for the full story.  See the Sutherland Coop Team’s October 29, 2013, post for more on the...

Passage of New Farm Bill to Help Coops

Congress has recently approved the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill), which President Obama is expected to sign into law.  The $956 billion legislation is being hailed by electric cooperatives as a step forward for rural America.  The Farm Bill includes several key beneficial items for rural electric cooperatives, including authorization of $75 million towards the Rural Energy...

NRECA: NIST Cyber Security Framework Should Consider Needs of Coops

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is urging the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to keep in mind the varying organizations and structures of companies operating in the energy sector when developing its Cyber Security Framework (Framework), a project undertaken in response to a February 2013 executive order issued by President Obama.  The...

USDA Makes $960 Million Investment in Rural Electric Utility System Improvements

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced funding for rural electric utility system improvements that will benefit residential and business customers in 23 states, including more than $14.3 million to implement smart grid technology and nearly $11 million to improve electric service for Native Americans.  The $960 million in USDA loan guarantees will go...

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