Georgia Magazine - April 2010 - (Page 14)

COMPILED BY VICTORIA SCHARF DECASTRO Memorable meeting Despite a crippling snowstorm that paralyzed Washington, D.C., and much of the country, directors and key staff at electric cooperatives from across the country traveled to Atlanta to attend the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s (NRECA) annual meeting Feb. 14-17 at the Georgia World Congress Center. The NRECA is the national organization that represents the interests of electric cooperatives and the consumers they serve. Employees of Georgia Electric Membership Corp. (EMC), Georgia System Operations Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Oglethorpe Power Corp. were there to lend a RICHARD LUBRANT Georgia welcome booth volunteers greet visitors and hand out Georgia products at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting in Atlanta. hand with side tour trips; planning, coordinating and staffing the Georgia welcome booth; planning and hosting a Georgia EMC reception prior to the meeting kick-off; taking photographs; communicating with the media on the NRECA Inter- national Program’s relief efforts in Haiti; and presenting commemorative resolutions from the Georgia House and Senate recognizing NRECA, and letters of welcome from Gov. Sonny Perdue and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. Before REA Rumblings in the rural areas While those in America’s cities had experienced the benefits of electricity since the late 1800s, their country counterparts remained in the dark almost half a century longer. Private power companies that provided electricity to city dwellers deemed stretching their lines to rural homes cost-prohibitive. Many farmers and rural residents could not understand why the same electric lines that enabled their city neighbors to enjoy lights and refrigeration couldn’t be extended onto their farms and into their homes. Lines could be extended, according to the private power companies, if farmers paid the price, estimated then at $2,000 per mile. In 1933, the American Farm Bureau’s Committee on the Relation of Electricity to Agriculture maintained that, given the private industry’s rate of extending electric service, supplying power to the nation’s 5 million farms without electricity would take at least 100 years. Gaining electricity on the farms and in rural homes in a timely manner seemed impossible to many, yet some rural areas already enjoyed electric power. Almost 50 electric cooperatives were in operation prior to 1935. These pioneer electric cooperatives led U.S. Sen. George Norris of Nebraska to believe that electrifying America’s rural population was possible after all. Norris found a kindred spirit in President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had researched rural electricity since first coming to Warm Springs. Roosevelt discovered communities without electric power, and high rates for those with it. With farmers, a senator and the president sharing a common 75 14 goal, rural electrification was on the horizon. Georgia’s electric membership corporations (EMCs) this year celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Rural Electrification Administration (REA, now Rural Utilities Service, or RUS), which was established on May 11, 1935, by Roosevelt to bring power to rural America. —Jackie Kennedy IMAGES REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION © COPYRIGHT NRECA GEORGIA MAGAZINE

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - April 2010

Georgia Magazine - April 2010
Picture This?
Georgia News
Special Energy Report
Major League Fun at the "Minors"
Remarkable Rivers
Southern Graces
Around Georgia
My Georgia
Georgia Gardens
Georgia Cooks
Cookbook of the Month

Georgia Magazine - April 2010