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NRECA Urges FCC to Advance $20 Billion for Broadband

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), along with America’s Communications Association and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, are asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to advance a new $20 billion auction for building rural broadband. Dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, this new auction is expected to offer up to $20.4 billion to build...

Senators and Coops Voice Concerns Regarding FERC’s Distributed Energy Resources Proposal

A recent proposal from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) would allow third parties to aggregate distributed energy resources (DERs) and sell electricity on the wholesale electricity market. A group of U.S. Senators wrote a letter to FERC outlining the concerns heard from rural electric cooperatives regarding the potential adverse impact on reliability and prices for...

NRECA CEO Voices Support for President Trump’s Executive Orders on Energy Infrastructure

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO, Jim Matheson, recently expressed support of President Trump’s Executive Orders on Energy Infrastructure Development: “Today’s announcement paves the way for electric coops to enhance system reliability and reduce wildfire risk by improving access to maintain and upgrade electric systems located on federal lands. By...

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...

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