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Illinois Country Living


Future Leaders Enjoy Trip to Washington, D.C.Make a Difference During Election 2008Expect Slightly Higher Cooling Costs in AugustIllinois One of the Top Three States Adding Wind PowerCo-ops Celebrate 70 Years of Democratic ControlWater Work — Linemen Remove Meters After Flood

Future Leaders Enjoy Trip to Washington, D.C.

You can’t lead if you don’t learn from history, and 66 rural Illinois youth leaders received a concentrated dose of history (and a lot of fun) during the “Youth to Washington” Tour, June 13-20. This event, sponsored by the electric and telephone cooperatives of Illinois, began in the late 1950s to introduce rural youths to our democratic form of government and cooperatives. The 66 rural Illinois youth leaders selected for the trip visited with their elected representatives and visited the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, the National Cathedral, the Smithsonian Museums, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the World War II Memorial, the new Newseum and a number of other historical sites. For information on how to join next year’s tour, contact your local electric co-op, or go to and click on “Youth Programs.”

Make a Difference During Election 2008

Yes, you can make a difference if you start a conversation with your elected officials about reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electric power.

“Never underestimate the power of personal contact with your elected officials at all levels,” says Glenn English, chief spokesman for the nation’s electric cooperatives as head of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

And English should know. He spent a lot of time with his constituents during his 10 terms as a member of Congress from Oklahoma.

“Take advantage of the summer congressional recess and fall election season and talk to candidates or your representatives about our energy future and what they are doing to help us keep the lights on and electric bills affordable,” he says.

English urges electric co-op consumers to attend campaign rallies and town-hall meetings when members of Congress visit or candidates for office make themselves available.

“America has a huge energy challenge,” English warns. “Now is the time to ask some tough questions and get some real answers about what our elected officials are doing to help us meet growing demand for electricity while addressing climate change goals.

In addition to personal contact, letters make a difference, too, according to English. “In this electronic age, it’s easy to stay in touch. Electric co-op consumers can lead the way in discussing energy issues by going to, and asking those critical questions,” he says.


Expect Slightly Higher Cooling Costs in August

Over the last month, temperatures across the equatorial central and eastern Pacific have begun to warm slightly. The latest climate models suggest that this warming trend will continue. As a result, the La Nina that has been in place since last summer is finally beginning to show signs of weakening. In fact, by the end of summer, the La Nina phase is expected to transition into more of a neutral phase.

This transition will likely affect weather patterns across North America and may impact what kind of autumn and winter the Midwest experiences. As for the August temperature outlook, long-range models indicate that near to slightly above normal temperatures are likely across Illinois.

The North Atlantic Oscillation is expected to become more positive after an unexpected prolonged period of being negative. This would likely mean an upper-level ridge pattern would develop across the eastern third of the country allowing for warmer and drier conditions.

The Illinois map this month depicts the average number of cooling degree-days across the state during the summer season. As can be seen, there is quite a large difference between northern and southern Illinois during a typical summer. This summer, much of the state is expected to see an average cooling degree-day surplus of between 90 and 270. As a result, energy costs with respect to cooling across the state will likely be somewhat higher than normal.


Illinois One of the Top Three States Adding Wind Power

The American Wind Energy Association says Illinois is the third leading state for installed new wind generation in 2007. Illinois added 592 megawatts of wind generation and is behind Texas and Colorado. The new Illinois wind farms increase the total to 733 megawatts—enough to power more than 183,000 homes.

The wind capacity costs $1.3 billion, created 3,500 jobs, generates $7.3 million in property taxes and provides $2.9 million in annual lease payments to Illinois farmers.

The latest large wind project is Dominion’s 300-megawatt wind farm that will be located on 25,000 acres in Christian and Montgomery counties 25 miles southeast of Springfield.

The Prairie Fork project will help balance the companies diversified energy portfolio of nuclear, coal and natural gas. The company owns the 1,158 megawatt coal-fired Kincaid Power Station just north of the proposed wind farm.

Test towers will be erected soon to measure the wind resources in the area and construction will begin in 2010, subject to permit approvals.

For more information about Prairie Fork Wind Farm, please visit


Co-ops Celebrate 70 Years of Democratic Control

Thirteen Illinois cooperatives will celebrate their 70th birthday this year. They are Adams Electric Cooperative, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, EnerStar Electric Cooperative, McDonough Power Cooperative, Monroe County Electric Co-Operative, Norris Electric Cooperative, Shelby Electric Cooperative, SouthEastern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Southern Illinois Electric Cooperative, Spoon River Electric Cooperative, Tri-County Electric Cooperative and Western Illinois Electrical Coop.

Cooperatives brought electricity to rural areas that investor-owned utilities would not serve, turning the lights on for thousands of farmers and rural Americans.

And now, 70 years later, electric cooperatives are the primary providers of electricity in rural areas of downstate Illinois. Just as it was true 70 years ago, cooperatives are still governed by a unique form of democracy. Members are still the owners that guide the co-op through the election of directors, just as they did when the co-ops first began. Times have changed, but the co-op principles haven’t.


Water Work — Linemen Remove Meters After Flood

As floodwaters rose along the Mississippi River basin in June, Adams Electric Cooperative Line Foreman Mike Olson and Apprentice Lineman Jon Metz were forced to pull meters from flooded areas by using a small boat with a trolling motor. Illinois electric co-ops saw minimal damage, but damage to homes and businesses along the Upper Mississippi River basin could total in the billions. After a flood or other natural disaster, families and business owners should work only with licensed, bonded contractors. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) licenses insurance agents and adjusters and roofing contractors. For questions about licensing or insurance call the Flood Recovery Assistance Hotline at 1-866-848-2067

(866-214-4479 TTY).



© 2016 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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