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USDA Approves $3.1 Billion in Loans to Coops

As part of its latest round of Electric Loan Program awards, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has approved $3.1 billion in rural infrastructure loans for 45 electric cooperatives. The loans will go to projects in 25 states to upgrade or build transmission and distribution lines and to develop smart grid technology and digital communications to help detect and respond to...

Congressmen Introduce Bill to Support Electric Cooperatives

Congressman Neal Dunn, M.D. (Florida-02) and Congressman Darren Soto (Florida-09) introduced the FEMA Loan Interest Payment Relief Act (H.R. 8701) requiring the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse local governments and electric cooperatives for interest incurred on loans used to restore essential functions after natural disasters. The interest paid on emergency...

Several Cooperative Agricultural and Rural Infrastructure Banks Ranked World’s Safest for 2020

Several cooperative agricultural and rural infrastructure banks, including CoBank, made the Global Finance World’s 50 Safest Banks annual ranking for 2020. The rankings have long been recognized as a trusted standard for individuals and investors to gauge the financial safety of banks.

Trump Administration Invests $371 Million to Improve Rural Electric Infrastructure in 11 States

The Trump Administration recently announced that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $371 million to build and improve critical electric infrastructure that will benefit more than 222,000 rural residents and commercial customers in 11 states. Specifically, this funding will help build and improve 3,741 miles of line to improve electric reliability and...

Kansas Cooperatives Helped by PPP

Six Kansas electric cooperatives recently applied for and received up to $20 million in loans as part of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a $2 trillion economic stimulus package passed by Congress in late March to help small businesses keep their workforces employed during the coronavirus pandemic.

New Legislation in Congress Could Save Coops Billions

Members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill Thursday in both the House and Senate that could save electric cooperatives more than $10 billion by allowing them to reprice loans from the Rural Utilities Service at current low interest rates.

Aid for Coops Included in Coronavirus Federal Relief Bill

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) urged Congress to include aid for electric cooperatives and their consumer-members as part of the federal relief efforts aimed at helping the struggling economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill passed by Congress offers millions in aid to consumers struggling to pay their utility...

USDA Announces $900 Million Investment in Rural Infrastructure

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a $900 million investment to build and improve rural electric infrastructure across 16 states through its Electric Loan Program. The investment will result in new or improved electric line of over 2,700 miles. One of the largest recipients, East Kentucky Power Cooperative, will receive $347 million to improve power generation...

USDA Accepting Second Round ReConnect Applications

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin accepting applications for the second round of the USDA ReConnect Program beginning on Friday, January 31. This round, which will total $550 million, will continue toward the goal of partnering with the private sector to improve broadband to rural communities.

Coop Leaders Meet with FCC to Discuss Broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released draft ground rules for obtaining funding from the Rural Development Opportunity Fund, an auction that will allocate a total of $20.4 billion to support the development of broadband networks in rural America. Coop leaders, including BARC CEO Mike Keyser and National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson, took...

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