ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson issued the following statement on the Endangered Species Act (ESA) rulemaking package from the Interior and Commerce departments. The rulemakings clarify criteria used to designate critical habitat, distinguish how threatened species are regulated and will generally make agency consultations more efficient:
“Today’s announcement is an important step toward modernizing endangered species protection, including making permitting for infrastructure more efficient while protecting our nation’s threatened and endangered species. These improvements will ensure that limited agency and co-op resources are focused on better species conservation by allowing protections to be tailored to the needs of each species. Co-ops are committed to protecting the nation’s natural resources, while providing responsible, reliable, and affordable power to America’s rural communities.”
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing more than 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.