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Iowa's Electric Co-ops Advocate at the Nation's Capital

Iowa’s not-for-profit electric cooperatives have returned from a successful trip to the nation’s capital. While in D.C., advocates met with Iowa’s congressional delegation on issues impacting their ability to provide reliable and affordable power.

The purpose of the trip is to ensure Iowa’s elected officials are fully aware of the thoughts and concerns of their constituents who are served by not-for-profit electric cooperatives.

Advocates also met with Doug Hoelscher, Director, Iowa Office of State-Federal Relations. The co-ops thanked Hoelscher for Governor Branstad’s attention to issues impacting co-ops and their member-consumers. Hoelscher also discussed the Iowa Energy Plan, the Clean Power Plan and flood mitigation efforts with advocates.

In a meeting with the new National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO, Jim Matheson, representatives from Iowa’s electric cooperatives were able to ask questions and better understand the organization’s thoughts on the future of electricity in rural America.

Key issues that have the greatest impact to member-consumers were discussed with the delegation and staff of Iowa’s six congressional offices. The Clean Power Plan was a key topic of discussion, as nearly seven hours of oral arguments took place in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit while we were meeting with the congressional offices. FEMA disaster assistance, geothermal tax credits and the Energy Policy Modernization Act were also part of the discussion.

Information was provided to each of Iowa’s six members of congress on the following issues:

  • EPA’s 111(d) Clean Power Plan – Discussed the Clean Power Plan and how it could potentially affect co-op member-consumers in the state.
  • FEMA disaster assistance – Thanked Iowa’s congressional delegation for their assistance and support ensuring that storm recovery funding would be granted to Iowa’s electric cooperatives who had been previously denied. Thanked representatives for supporting and asked senators to support the “FEMA Disaster Reform Act of 2015”.
  • Geothermal tax credit – Asked members of Congress to support an extension of geothermal tax credits to include highly-efficient ground-source heat pumps.
  • “Energy Policy Modernization Act” – Asked members of Congress to complete work on the “Energy Policy Modernization Act” including provisions that support our mission to provide safe, affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity.

 “I believe Iowa’s congressional delegation now has a better understanding of how legislation and regulations being discussed in Congress would affect the affordability and reliability of electricity in Iowa.”  Phil Kinser, CEO/General Manager.

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