Electric co-ops praise senator’s energy white paper

Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, welcomed U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) speech on Feb. 11 announcing her Energy 20/20 White Paper at the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

Emerson said, “Senator Murkowski’s paper is spot-on in its call for a more reliable and affordable electricity grid. Her assessment of the factors influencing the electric grid brings to light the importance of honest dialogue, and co-ops look forward to being part of that conversation.

“Regulations cannot occur in a vacuum. They must be deliberate and thoughtful. Folks in Washington often ­forget about the impact at the end of the line, but electric co-ops know first-hand the effect even a small price increase can have. That’s why we stand strong in supporting a true all-of-the-above energy policy that helps keep electricity affordable.”

Electric cooperatives serve the majority of the persistent poverty counties in the country. As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service, these counties have had 20 percent or more of their ­populations living in poverty over the last 30 years. View the map depicting electric cooperative service territory overlaid with the persistent poverty counties at http://www.nreca.coop/wp-content/plugins/nreca-interactive-maps/persistent-poverty/.