Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Legal Alert: Patronage Capital Update

Retirement of patronage capital remains a heavily litigated topic. While federal court cases generally have ruled in favor of electric cooperatives, state court cases are somewhat divided. This update reports on a federal court of appeals decision and two recent state court opinions reaching different conclusions about a board’s authority and obligations with respect to patronage...

Eleventh Circuit Rules Co-op Members Are Not Entitled to Immediate Cash for Profits

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit dismissed (subscription required) a case brought by members of the Central Alabama Electric Cooperative (CAEC) against the central Alabama utility for distributing excess revenue by crediting the members’ capital accounts rather than making cash payments. The court found that Alabama law 37-6-20 does not require CAEC to distribute such...

D.C. Circuit Hears Challenge to Clean Power Plan

Ten D.C. Circuit judges heard argument regarding the EPA’s authority to enact the Clean Power Plan and the rule’s constitutionality.  All active judges on the D.C. Circuit, with the exception of Merrick Garland, heard arguments from state government, power industry groups, the federal government and environmental groups.

Mississippi Regulator Imposes New Annual Filing Requirement

The Mississippi Public Service Commission directed electric coops to make an annual filing to provide information on open meetings, board member elections, coop fund management and other matters to keep customers apprised of their respective ownership shares and worth.  The filing is due May 1 of each year beginning in 2015. Click here to read more.

Texas Coop to Retire $4 Million in Capital Credits

South Plains Electric Cooperative (SPEC) announced that it has approved a capital credits refund of $4 million to its members.  To date SPEC has returned more than $28 million to its customer-members.  To read more, please click here.

Texas Coop to Refund Capital Credits

The Guadalupe Valley Electric Cooperative, which serves members in 13 Texas counties east of San Antonio and south of Austin, will return $3 million in capital credits to its members this month.  Click here for more.

Customers of Florida Coop to Get Millions

Florida-based Lee County Electric Cooperative has approved an equity distribution of $6.1 million to current and inactive customers and an additional distribution of $6.1 million to memberships that have been closed since 2006.  Customers receiving a distribution of less than $250 will receive a credit on their bills.  Click here for more information.

Senate Agriculture Committee Raises Concerns about Proposed RUS Environmental Regulation

In its report accompanying spending legislation for fiscal year 2015, the Senate Agriculture Committee has directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Rural Development office to provide a report on the impact of a controversial regulation proposed by the USDA.  The regulation at issue would reclassify all loan transactions for Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers as “major...

Bluebonnet Members to Receive Capital Credits

Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative in Texas will return $3 million in patronage capital to its members using a member’s past electricity usage and length of membership to determine the amount returned in the form of capital credits.  The San Marcos Daily Record has the full story.

Arizona Coop Forgoes 100% Equity Financing, Becomes CFC Borrower

Duncan Valley Electric Cooperative (DVEC), based in Duncan, Arizona, recently borrowed from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC) to prepay future National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Retirement Security Plan contributions.  The move makes DVEC a 100% CFC borrower and marks a departure from its existing financing strategy.  DVEC, which last...

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