Currents

Graphic Image of three houses with fiber optic cable.

Broadband caucuses stress rural need to President

The President is hearing a strong bicameral, bipartisan message from over 100 House and Senate leaders asking him to include broadband improvements in a national infrastructure package. The House Rural Broadband Caucus and Senate Broadband Caucus organized ­letters signed by 71 House members and 48 senators urging the Administration to ensure any infrastructure plan includes […]

Electric co-ops welcome administration’s decision to revisit WOTUS

  National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson said electric co-ops welcome the Trump ­administration’s willingness to take another look at the controversial Waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS). He said, “The Waters of the U.S. rule would increase costs for electric co-ops to build and maintain ­critical infrastructure without meaningful environmental ­benefits. […]

Prepare for earthquakes – yes in Illinois

In recognition of the earthquake risk in southern Illinois from the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies have been ­promoting earthquake preparedness. “While we don’t ­experience major earthquakes with the same ­frequency as the western U.S., some of the most powerful ­earthquakes to […]

People doing rehabilitation to a house.

Touchstone Energy® cooperative employees assist low-income homeowners

It has become a tradition for Touchstone Energy Cooperative volunteers from across the country to join forces once a year during the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s annual meeting to repair and rebuild local homes in the meeting’s host city. Pictured here is Nancy McDonald, the Regional Representative for Illinois, who joined 120 other volunteers […]

Career reality check app now available for Illinois teens

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has teamed up with the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) on a new Going Mobile initiative that will help teens, young adults and those considering career changes to obtain realistic projections and information. The Reality Check mobile app offers step-by-step instructions on how to evaluate a […]

NRECA CEO Jim Mattheson

Volatile changes in Washington, D.C. also mean opportunity

The changing of the guard is a “volatile time” in Washington, but that volatility creates opportunities for the nation’s electric cooperatives, says National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson. “Washington kind of gets set in its ways, and if they’re shaking things up right now, there’s volatility,” Matheson said Jan. 9 at NRECA’s CEO […]

Wind Turbines

G&T co-op’s demand management system incorporates renewables

Wabash Valley Power Association, a generation and transmission cooperative (G&T) serving 23 electric ­distribution cooperatives in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, is upgrading its demand response software to include ­distributed energy management. The goal is to better ­balance energy demand peaks and valleys while incor­porating distributed renewable energy resources. OMNETRIC Group, the Siemens and Accenture joint […]

Fiber Optics Warning Pole

Co-ops applaud congressional call to expand rural broadband

America’s electric cooperatives applauded the 71 members of Congress who sent a letter to President Trump calling for him to include investments to bring broadband service to rural America in his infrastructure proposal. The letter was coordinated by the House Rural Broadband Caucus, which is led by co-chairs: Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Bob […]

Rural Landscape with Electric Poles

Electric cooperatives own 42 percent of the U.S. grid

Co-ops own and maintain 2.6 million miles, or 42 ­percent, of the nation’s electric distribution lines, ­covering three-quarters of the nation’s landmass. Co-ops serve an average of 7.4 consumers per mile of line and collect annual revenue of approximately $16,000 per mile of line as ­compared to investor-owned utilities, which have on average 34 customers […]

Girl in Cap ad Gown Graduating

Students unaware of a top hiring sector – agriculture

A national survey reports that students getting ready to enter the workforce are often overlooking one of the top hiring sectors – agriculture. The research, sponsored by the America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders program, found that agriculture is not being considered by many high school and college ­students, despite it being one of the country’s […]