Co-ops at the Table in Olympia

Senator Sharon Brown with Platt, Bradshaw, Berglund, and Feepons

Collectively, Benton REA members are represented by four state senators and eight representatives. In February, several Benton REA trustees and staff members visited the state capitol to meet these representatives and discuss the issues that impact Benton REA and its members.

Benton REA’s top legislative priority positions include carbon policy, local control and rural broadband. When considering carbon policy, Benton REA encourages legislators to focus on methods that achieve the most carbon reduction at the lowest possible cost. Electrical system reliability must be the cornerstone of any carbon policy.

Like many electric co-ops, Benton REA faces challenges not shared by other forms of utilities. Therefore, it is critical that we are not included in legislation that uses one-size-fits-all mandates. It is essential that the locally elected cooperative boards, which understand the unique challenges that each co-op faces, be allowed to make important utility decisions.

Benton REA is also a strong advocate for expanding and improving internet connectivity in rural, unserved areas. Benton REA’s PowerNET was created to bring internet access and technology consulting services to our local communities.

Energy is a topic heavily discussed at all levels of government and Benton REA—your local electric cooperative—makes it a priority to be at the table during these discussions to ensure our members are protected and represented.

You can read more about Benton REA’s 2018 legislative priorities and standing positions by visiting BentonREA.org/myservices/energy-legislation.

In addition, the Benton REA Board of Trustees unanimously passed a resolution in February supporting the continued operation of Columbia Generating Station, a carbon-free source of affordable electricity. This resolution can also be found at BentonREA.org.

For more information and to get involved in electric cooperative legislative issues, visit Vote.coop.

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