Electric co-ops dialogue with legislators during “REC Day on the Hill”
More than 200 rural electric cooperative (REC) employees and directors, representing more than 25 Iowa co-ops, traveled to the Iowa State Capitol on Monday to advocate for important issues during their annual REC Day on the Hill event. The co-op representatives first met for a briefing to receive updates on state and federal legislative issues, and John Richards, senior advisor of the Office of Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy, spoke about the DOE’s efforts to collaborate with energy stakeholders in the development of energy policy. The group then met with their local elected officials during a dessert social on the first floor rotunda of the Capitol. The co-ops focused on educating legislators about five issues important to Iowa’s electric cooperatives:
- The inclusion of geothermal for renewable energy tax credits
- Legislation encouraging utility-owned solar
- Accountability for the Iowa Energy Center
- Policies supporting a skilled workforce in the state
- EPA proposed rules regarding the Clean Air Act
Many electric cooperatives also developed booth displays which provided information on topics including community solar generation, rural broadband, load management, storm recovery, lineman equipment costs, and energy efficiency.
The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives represents the interests of not-for-profit electric cooperatives, including 34 distribution co-ops and 7 generation & transmission co-ops. Owned by the members they serve, Iowa’s electric cooperatives power the lives of 650,000 Iowans throughout all 99 counties and are committed to delivering power that is safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible. Formed in 1942, IAEC provides many vital functions for its members including legislative representation, regulatory oversight, training and education services, safety programs, and communications support. Learn more at www.iowarec.org.
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IAEC communications manager