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Talking Co-ops in Washington, D.C.

Randy Suess, Inland Power & Light; Troy Berglund, Benton REA; Rep. Dan Newhouse and Danny Lee, Inland Power & Light

Talking Co-ops in Washington, D.C.

Troy Berglund, community development and member relations manager, traveled to Washington, D.C., in April for the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association Legislative Conference. While there, he and other Washington electric cooperative employees met with legislators to discuss the needs of co-op members.

During their meetings with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers and Rep. Dan Newhouse, the group discussed several key state issues.

  1. Discussed a number of ways Congress can help the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) lower its costs to become more competitive.
  2. Opposed the proposal to sell off BPA transmission assets as well as changing BPA rates from cost-based to market-based.
  3. Asked for support of a bill to clarify that grants received by electric co-ops from federal or state governments do not count as non-related income and potentially jeopardize nonprofit, tax-exempt status. Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to recover from a natural disaster are an example of these.

Benton REA is a strong supporter of the hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers. Without the low-cost energy provided by these dams, Benton REA would have to rely on more expensive, carbon-producing energy resources. The dams also provide a consistent, reliable source of electricity for our growing corner of the world. Hydropower is to essential to ours, and the nation’s, energy future.

Visit BentonREA.org/legislation to learn more about Benton REA’s state and federal legislative positions.

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