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co-op issues


Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Legislative Conference. During the conference, co-op advocates spend time on Capitol Hill talking to their congressional delegations and congressional staff about legislative issues that affect electric cooperatives and their member-owners


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In a recent Webinar series, NRECA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brian Cavey provided attendees with an overview of the 114th Congress and what its actions may mean for electric cooperatives.


The 114th Congress of the United States came together for the first time on January 6, 2015, and will meet through 2016. Key issues facing electric cooperatives include unfinished work from the previous Congress, including a water heater efficiency standard that would ban larger- sized water heaters and require new units to incorporate pricey efficiency upgrades.


Other priorities include Surface Transportation Board reform, work on how reimbursements are issued from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, cyber security issues, and several environmental


lectric co-op directors, managers and staff will gather in Washington DC May 3-5 for the annual National rural


in 2018. The tax would make healthcare benefits more expensive for employers, including most electric cooperatives.


Outlook From Capitol Hill


Upcoming legislative rally brings co-ops together to focus on issues that affect them and their members


issues including coal ash regulations, Endangered Species Act reform and regulations from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.


NRECA is also focused on eliminating the so-called “Cadillac tax” from the Affordable Care Act, which would excise a tax on robust health plans beginning


“This is going to hit virtually every electric co-op that provides health insurance for their employees,”said Brian Cavey, NRECA's vice president of legislative affairs. “We’re working to get this repealed before it takes effect.”


Cavey stressed that with several new faces in Congress—making decisions on several issues that will affect electric cooperatives— it is critical that legislators fully understand America’s electric cooperative network and how local electric cooperatives serve the constituents in their districts.


“I think one of the best ways for a member of Congress or their staff to get to understand what an electric co-op is—what it does and how it’s different from other sectors of the industry—is to bring them to the co-op,” Cavey said. “Let them know that those are the folks working to keep the lights on for their constituents, working to help enhance economic development in their Congressional district.”


Right of way (ROW): Refers to a strip of land underneath and around power lines that your electric cooperative maintains and clears. Trees must grow at a distance far enough from electric lines that they will not cause harm to individuals, or disruption to electrical service.


Fifteen percent of power interruptions occur when trees, shrubs or bushes grow too close to power lines. By managing vegetation, your electric cooperative keeps power safe and reliable.


Vegetation Management Why right-of-way maintenance matters to you


✔Kiamichi Electric Cooperative owns over 4,092 miles of electric line that spans a five-county region that


includes Latimer, LeFlore, Pittsburg, Pushmataha and Atoka counties.


✔Maintaining reliable and affordable electric service depends on providing a clear and unobstructed path


for electricity to travel. Clear rights-of-way mean fewer and shorter outages, reduced risk for co-op employees working on power lines, and less wear and tear on co-op vehicles and equipment.


When you see co-op right of crews working in your area, please give them your full cooperation. Thank you!


Light Post | march - april 2015 | 7


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