Rural Missouri - June 2017 - 4
| C O O P E R AT I O N
call on Congress
Missouri's rural electric cooperatives head to
nation's capital for face time with legislators
lectric cooperative representatives from Alabama to Wyoming recently
headed to Capitol Hill en masse to deliver messages of importance to
members of Congress on behalf of the co-op members they represent
back in their home state.
More than 2,100 participants - including 55 from Missouri - rallied at the
2017 National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Conference
on behalf of co-op priorities to reach beyond political party lines and work
together for the good of members back home. The April 24-26 conference provided CEOs, directors and co-op staff with insights from Washington insiders
and briefings from NRECA legislative staff to use during meetings with lawmakers.
"It's time to play offense so co-ops can capitalize on one of the most favorable political climates in years," NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said.
Matheson went on to point out that rural America is riding high as it was
credited with strong turnout that made a major impact on the 2016 presidential election. "In a time of uncertainty, it's all the more important for us to
remain at the table, be active participants in policy creation and assert ourselves as the voice of American consumers," added Matheson.
Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives, added
why it's important to spend face time with the legislators once they're in office.
"Whether back home or in Washington, D.C., we want our co-op members
to know we're looking out for them and always working on their behalf," said
Hart. "We send letters, emails and make phone calls, but we make sure to visit
with our elected officials face-to-face when possible. Those relationships with
them are important to the cooperative family."
This year, Congress was in session during the national cooperative conference, which made the timing perfect to visit with Missouri's legislators. Co-op
leaders also thanked Missouri's senators and representatives for supporting
high-speed internet for rural Missourians and USDA funding for electric cooperatives. Other topics discussed included:
photos by Heather Berry
Electric co-op leaders meet with U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer during the group's legislative
conference trip to Washington, D.C. in April.
Protect Funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides critical home heating and cooling to millions of vulnerable American families. Missouri's delegation asked that Congress protect LIHEAP funding and appropriate at least
$3.39 billion to the program in fiscal year 2018.
Extend the Ground-Source Tax Credit
At the end of 2015, Congress extended tax credits for wind and solar energy.
However, tax credits for energy efficient ground-source heat pumps were not
extended and expired at the end of 2016. Those attending urged Congress to
co-sponsor the Technologies for Energy Security Act, which would extend and
phase out incentives for geothermal and other technologies in a manner similar
to wind and solar.
Support Commercial Deployment of Carbon Capture, Storage Technology
Electric cooperatives support research into new technologies reducing emissions from fossil-fuel based power plants. However there is currently no commercially available, cost-effective technology for capturing CO2 emissions. Coop leaders asked Congress to support pending legislation that would make the
current 45Q tax credit permanent, increase its value and make it available to
nonprofit electric cooperatives.
Improve Federal Land Management Policies to Strengthen
Electric cooperatives maintain grid reliability and ensure public
safety by keeping power line rights-of-way clear of hazardous
trees and vegetation, even where lines cross federally owned
lands. Inconsistent, outdated federal land management policies
make it difficult and costly for co-ops to get approval for these
practices. Missouri's delegates asked Congress to co-sponsor and
pass the Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act to ensure
grid reliability and consistent access to power line rights-of-way
on federally owned lands.
The electric co-op delegation from Missouri to Washington, D.C. included 55 managers, directors and staff representing cooperatives across the state.
Support Modernization and Reform of the Endangered
As true stewards of the land, electric cooperatives support
solutions that balance economic growth and the preservation
of native species. During the conference, U.S. Rep. Blaine
Luetkemeyer introduced legislation that would make the listing
process for species more transparent while respecting states' and
private property owners' rights.
EDITORIAL STAFF: Jim McCarty, editor, email@example.com
Paul Newton, managing editor, firstname.lastname@example.org | Heather Berry, associate editor, email@example.com
Megan Backes, creative director, firstname.lastname@example.org | Zach Smith, field editor; email@example.com
Angie Jones-Wheeler, co-op page designer | Dusty Weter, co-op page designer
ADVERTISING: Mary Davis, production manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
"Devoted to the rural way of life"
Rural Missouri is published monthly by the Association of
Missouri Electric Cooperatives, Barry Hart, CEO/executive vice
president. Individual subscription rate: $10 per year or $22 for
three years, taxes and postage included. Group rate for members
of participating RECs $2.22, plus taxes and postage. 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.
Copyright 2017, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Call for reprint rights.
RURAL MISSOURI | JUNE 2017
Postmasters: Send address changes to Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
Subscribers: Report change of address to your local cooperative. Do not send change of address to Rural Missouri.
Advertising standards: Advertising published in Rural Missouri is accepted on the premise that the merchandise and services offered are
accurately described and sold to customers at the advertised price. Rural Missouri and Missouri's electric cooperatives do not endorse
any products or services advertised herein. Advertising that does not conform to these standards or that is deceptive or misleading is
never knowingly accepted by this publication.
Editorial: Rural Missouri, P.O. Box 1645, Jefferson City, MO 65102
573-659-3423 | email@example.com | www.ruralmissouri.coop
Advertising: firstname.lastname@example.org | 573-659-3400
National Advertising Representative: National Country Market;
611 S. Congress St., Suite 504; Austin, TX 78704 | 573-659-3400
USPS 473-000 ISSN 0164-8578