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Overhaul of FEMA disaster funding rules needed for rural areas

Governor Pat Quinn in February delivered the keynote address at the National Journal’s Natural Disaster Forum in Washington, D.C., where he discussed Illinois’ preparedness and response to several major ­natural disasters and called for needed changes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) disaster aid criteria. A tornado outbreak on Nov. 17, 2013 killed eight […]

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Co-ops react to grid security concern

Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), recently commented on the March 12, 2014, Wall Street Journal article ­regarding the physical security of the national electrical grid. “No one takes the security of our nation’s electric systems more seriously than the more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives. Every […]

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Dairyland Power Cooperative using cow power

According to Wisconsin Dairy Data the state has 1.27 ­million dairy cows. Dairyland Power Cooperative, which serves Illinois ­cooperative Jo-Carroll Energy, is using the resulting waste as resource and ­turning cow poop into ­electricity. The generation and transmission ­cooperative is a national leader in what it calls cow power. The co-op is also using biomass, […]

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Filipinos are trying to regain some semblance of normal life.

NRECA raises $120k for typhoon victims

Michael Guidry, a former NRECA board president, and Martin Lowery, NRECA executive vice president, toured parts of the Philippines devastated by last fall’s Supertyphoon Haiyan. During the visit, they awarded more than $120,000 raised by the NRECA International Foundation to help 11 co-ops rebuild their leveled ­systems. Donations from U.S. co-ops and individuals will help […]

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A long and winding road to a Farm Bill

After a long effort, the passage of a five-year Farm Bill made a huge step forward when a con­ference report cleared the House on a bi­partisan 251-166 vote. This compromise included several key items for electric ­cooperatives: It returned the ability for RUS to make ­baseload generation loans, authorized zero percent loans for consumer ­efficiency […]

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Cold snap to have lasting effect on power bills

Ratepayers used more electricity to get through this winter’s cold spell and that’s going to mean higher bills. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that double whammy will hit residential users in the pocketbooks, as the price of electricity jumps by about 2 percent in both 2014 and 2015. That’s in ­addition to the higher […]

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U.S. nearing energy independence

The United States is projected to be energy self-sufficient by 2035 while also being the world’s top liquids and natural gas producer, according to BP’s 2035 Energy Outlook report. The report predicts worldwide energy demand will grow by 41 percent over the next 20 years, a slowdown from the 52 percent growth of the past […]

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Honoring the guiding light behind rural electrification

It is quite likely that rural elec­trification would not have happened without the leadership of Sen. George W. Norris. Nearly 75 years ago the leaders of Norris Electric Cooperative in Newton, Ill. understood that and honored his leadership by naming their co-op for this “founding father” of rural electrification. Today a national fundraising campaign is requesting donations […]

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