Co-ops Welcome Energy and Economic Development Provisions in New Farm Bill

(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), today congratulated the Senate on passing the Farm Bill, which now heads to the President for his signature.

“Electric cooperatives appreciate the hard work, long hours and many difficult compromises that were necessary to pass a final bill. Cooperatives serve 93 percent of the nation’s “persistent poverty counties” and see first-hand the need for the rural economic development programs contained in this bill.

“In addition, not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives look forward to partnering with the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) to implement meaningful improvements to the electric loan program. In particular, at a time when the economy continues to struggle in rural areas, the Farm Bill’s RUS provisions expand cooperatives’ ability to make low-interest efficiency loans to consumer-members to help reduce their energy costs and consumption. The positive impact of this bill will be lasting and significant,” said Emerson.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.