Rural Missouri - June 2012 - (Page 4)
C O M M E NT S
“Devoted to the rural way of life”
June 2012 Volume 64 / Number 6 Jim McCarty, editor firstname.lastname@example.org Jason Jenkins, managing editor email@example.com Heather Berry, associate editor firstname.lastname@example.org Kyle Spradley, field editor email@example.com Megan Schibi, editorial assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Mary Davis, production manager email@example.com Angie Jones Dusty Weter Co-op page designers
USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578
Copyright 2012, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Call for reprint rights. Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. Barry Hart, executive vice president. Individual subscription rate: $9 per year or $21 for three years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members of participating RECs $3.99, taxes and postage included. Delivery as specified by subscriber. If not specified, delivery will be by periodical class mail at subscriber’s expense. Periodical Class postage paid at Jefferson City, MO, and additional mailing offices.
photo by Heather Berry
Barry Hart, right, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, introduces Eric Bohl and Adam Kingree from Rep. Vicky Hartzler’s staff during the NRECA Grassroots Summit and Legislative Conference. While legislators were not in Washington, D.C., during the event, the group shared issues ranging from Rural Utilities Service funding to coal ash legislation with their staff.
A grassroots army
Summit helps revive passion for rural electrification
hey were born in politics — and they will die in politics without eternal vigilance in the political arena. The pioneers of the rural electrification movement knew those words to be true. From the moment President Franklin Roosevelt signed his famous Executive Order No. 7037 creating the Rural Electrification Administration, the electric cooperatives that would follow found themselves forced to pay close attention to what was happening in both the state and U.S. capitals. That included the subsequent fight for passage of the Norris-Rayburn Act, which gave REA the funds it needed for loans that would pay for the first power lines in rural areas. The bill passed by one vote, and it might be noted that Sen. George Norris and Rep. Sam Rayburn came from different political parties. From that day forward, electric cooperatives had to fight for their lives in the political arena against powerful foes. If there was one thing that distinguished those early leaders, it was their passion for the program. Should an unwary politician rattle their cage, an army of managers, directors, employees and members would descend on the capital in force. An annual rite of spring became the Legislative Conference, hosted this year from April 30 to May 3 by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which has brought thousands of rural electric leaders to Washington, D.C., over the years to make sure elected officials understood the electric cooperative position on issues. This year’s conference, held for the first time in 40 years at a time when legislators were not in session, focused on rebuilding the passion that was a trademark of the rural electric pioneers.
Billed as a “Grassroots Summit,” those who attended were told by NRECA’s legislative team that they can make a huge difference in four key areas. • The future of power marketing agencies: Electric cooperatives are concerned that a plan by the Department of Energy would move these agencies, which market power from federal hydropower projects, away from their role of providing low-cost hyrdropower at a time when this clean energy is vitally needed. • Coal ash regulation: NRECA opposes designation of coal ash as a hazardous waste by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Research at the University of Missouri has led to valuable uses for coal ash in roads and building materials. • Rural Utilities Service funding: RUS, today’s name for REA, continues to loan money so electric co-ops can upgrade lines to ensure reliable service. Missouri’s delegation used the summit to thank legislators who signed a letter of support on strong RUS funding in 2013. Besides meeting with staff members from Missouri’s congressional delegation, those attending learned how to use new tools such as social networking to build a successful grassroots program. Whenever these ideas are discussed, Missouri is often used as an example of how to do things right. Many thanks to members who are part of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives’ Grassroots Team. Whether they are needed in Jefferson City or Washington, D.C., they always step up to ensure electric cooperatives remain strong. We will be presenting our new grassroots plan to electric cooperative members in the future and hope you will consider getting involved.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2012
Rural Missouri - June 2012
Table of Contents
The power of purple
The little town that could
Out of the Way Eats
Missouri snapshots contest
Stocked with adventure
Hearth and Home
Rural Missouri - June 2012