Rural Missouri - November 2010 - (Page 16)

photos by Kyle Spradley Left: Barry Hart shares a light moment with Bob Phillips, retiring CEO of the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative. Phillips was honored for efforts to bring satellite television service to rural areas. Click to watch excerpts of Gov. Nixon’s address. Left: AMEC CEO Barry Hart introduces Gov. Jay Nixon and thanks him for his support in 2010. At right is Black River Electric Manager Tom Steska, the association’s treasurer. Below: Vice President John Eggleston congratulates West Central Electric Director Charles Bailes after presenting him with the Distinguished Service Award. Also honored for distinguished service was the late John Griffith, a Sac Osage Electric director. ov. Jay Nixon was the featured speaker as the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives held its 73rd annual meeting, Oct. 6-8 in Kansas City. In his address to the 300-plus directors, managers and key staff from electric cooperatives across the state, Nixon praised the electric co-op effort to bring high-speed Internet service to rural areas in the same manner co-ops brought electricity in the 1930s. “On my first day in office, I said the state of Missouri would make broadband a priority,” Nixon said. “Just as the interstates and railroads transformed the cities and villages, we believe that broadband will connect these towns to the information superhighway. But this broadband revolution would not be possible without the people in this room, and as governor, I want to thank you.” This year, Nixon announced grants totaling $66 million that will help three Missouri electric cooperatives bring high-speed Internet to their service areas. Nixon said this effort will improve the quality of life for rural people and will bring new opportunities to rural businesses. The governor also commented on the state’s energy future. “My vision is for Missouri to be a net energy exporter,” he said. “We will find cleaner, greener ways to use traditional fuels. We in Missouri are famous for embracing the future.” Nixon was one of more than a dozen speakers who detailed some of the challenges facing electric cooperatives as the first decade of the 21st century draws to a close. G by Jim McCarty jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop Rural issues explored at AMEC Annual Meeting Broadband, EPA regulation are hot topics in 2010 “Never before in the 73-year history of our state association have we faced more challenges,” said Barry Hart, CEO of the association. “Never have the challenges been as big and as many. I’m thankful that the leaders of the electric cooperative movement have recognized this and see that we need a strong family to meet these challenges. For this reason, never before have we been better prepared to meet these issues.” In 2010, Hart said the state’s electric co-ops helped prevent higher electricity rates by working with members to gain a seat at the table during debate on the climate change issue. They also supported legislation that fixed a flaw in a state tax law that would have required utilities to collect sales tax on non-profit organizations. He followed up on the partnership with the state and federal governments mentioned by Nixon that will bring broadband Internet service to some rural areas. “Once again we enter a new year without the higher rates that would be the result of a climate change bill passed down from Washington, D.C.,” said Dennis Fulk, president of the association and a director for Platte-Clay Electric. “Never before have electric co-op members been so connected with a grassroots campaign. Through their support, we have a seat at the table in the climate change debate.” Montee Wynn, who watches Capitol Hill for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), talked about the future for climate change legislation in Washington, D.C. “Climate change is dead,” Wynn predicted. “That’s the good news. But the bad news is the Supreme Court opened the door to EPA being extremely aggressive in regulating carbon dioxide.” He said several bills are being pushed in Congress that would limit EPA’s powers, including one introduced by Missouri’s Ike Skelton and Jo Ann Emerson. Jeff Davis, a member of the Missouri Public Service Commission, also spoke about the transmission issue. “The best wind power is in the worst locations,” said Davis. “We need more transmission lines to get it where it is needed.” These new power lines are going to be expensive, he said, and those states that need them want their neighboring states to help pay the bill. “Members don’t like rate increases,” he said. “Try telling them the rate increase is to pay to build transmission lines in New Mexico. There are people in Washington who want to write checks that we can’t afford to cash.” Warren Wood, a lobbyist for Ameren Missouri, discussed future needs for energy. He said the current discussion on renewables “spends 80 percent of the time talking about 20 percent of the problem.” In other words, the nation can’t ignore the need for base load generation. He said coal generation will be difficult to add. Discussion on nuclear power needs to continue, he said, but current state law would require building on credit and handing the entire bill to consumers in the future. Meanwhile, natural gas generation remains the only viable option. The meeting featured a talk on grassroots legislative activities, a speech by Youth Leadership Council member Trina Stumpe and a panel on broadband that included Bill Shreffler of Pulse Broadband and Doug Micheel from the U.S. Department of Energy. Those who attended also heard what South Carolina’s electric cooperatives are doing to help members improve energy efficiency. This effort could go national if Congress approves the “Rural Star” legislation. 16 RURAL MISSOURI

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010
Contents
Comments
Columns
Mobility's Best Friend
Mail Bag
Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting
Out of the Way Eats
The Missouri Connection
Big Screen Savings
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
Best of Rural Missouri
Lest We Forget
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - November 2010

Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover1)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Missouri - November 2010 (Page Cover2)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Contents (Page 3)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Comments (Page 4)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 5)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 6)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 7)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 8)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Columns (Page 9)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 10)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 11)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 12)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mobility's Best Friend (Page 13)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 14)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Mail Bag (Page 15)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 16)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Rural Issues Explored at AMEC Annual Meeting (Page 17)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 18)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Out of the Way Eats (Page 19)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 20)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - The Missouri Connection (Page 21)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 22)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 23)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Big Screen Savings (Page 24)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Hearth and Home (Page 25)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - News Briefs (Page 26)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 27)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Best of Rural Missouri (Page 28)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Lest We Forget (Page 29)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 30)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Marketplace (Page 31)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 32)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 33)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 34)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Around Missouri (Page 35)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 36)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Neighbors (Page 37)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 38)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page 39)
Rural Missouri - November 2010 - Just4Kids (Page Cover4)
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