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Tennessee Provides Grant to Electric Coops for Rural Broadband Expansion

Tennessee has granted approximately $15 million in funds to telecom and electric cooperatives for an expansion of rural broadband projects in Tennessee under the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act. The grantees have committed to provide approximately $20 million in matching funds for a combined investment of approximately $35...

Bipartisan Bill Could Boost Financing for Cooperatives

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is working with a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Congress to pass legislation that would give electric cooperatives access to more money to modernize their plants and reduce costs for consumer-members. The proposed Improving Rural Access to Power Act would allow the Federal Home Loan Bank to voluntarily buy securities issued by a...

Coop CEO Testifies in Support of Carbon Capture Technology Legislation

Basin Electric Power Cooperative CEO, Paul Sukut, told a Senate panel that he supports efforts to help electric cooperatives develop technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fueled power plants and turn them into useful products.

Mississippi Law Allows Coops to Pursue Broadband

A new Mississippi law expands a coop’s authority to pursue broadband through an affiliate that is separate from its electric service. The law will allow a coop to hang broadband fiber on its existing power poles and lease it to the affiliate. Alternatively, the affiliate can partner with an internet provider to pursue the...

Electric Cooperative Policy Priorities in 2019

As the new Congress gets under way, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) will be advocating on many public policy issues on behalf of electric cooperatives. Specifically, NRECA plans to (1) work to ensure that any infrastructure package will include opportunities to modernize the electric grid and expand rural broadband access, (2) encourage bipartisan support...

Inadvertent Tax Bill Language Could Jeopardize Exempt Status for Coops

Coops that accept any government grants may find their tax-exempt status at risk. To be considered tax exempt, electric coops are limited to a 15 percent threshold of non-member income. As written, the 2017 tax law counts money received from any government grant as non-member income, where previously, most such grants were considered contributions to...

NRECA Seeks Reduction in Insurance Premiums on Coop Retirement Plans

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) is pushing hard in the remaining weeks of Congress this year to bring down pension insurance costs for electric coops. “Because of the strength of our network, electric coop retirement plans pose little risk of default. Yet we are required to pay insurance premiums as if we are a high-risk venture,” said NRECA CEO Jim...

NRECA Files Comments in Support of EPA Proposed Coal Plant Emissions Rule

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) and other lobbying groups representing electric utilities recently filed comments in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, endorsing looser pollution standards for coal-fired power plant generators. The EPA hopes to finalize the ACE rule by March...

Electric Industry and Government Work Together to Enhance Grid Cybersecurity

For years, electric utilities have worked closely with government security experts to share emerging threat data and information on vulnerabilities to thwart cyberattacks. The Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), the main liaison between the electric industry and the federal government, aims to coordinate efforts to prepare for or respond to major disasters or threats to...

ACE Rule the ‘Best Path Forward’ for Electric Cooperatives

On October 1, 2018, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson testified in support of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. “The proposed ACE rule provides crucial flexibility so electric coops can respond to market conditions, technologies and industry changes at the same time they continue to contribute to...

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