Electric Cooperatives Encouraged by Trump’s Rural Infrastructure Emphasis

ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association CEO Jim Matheson issued the following statement on the Trump Administration’s principles for an infrastructure package:

“The success of rural America is critical to the wellbeing of our entire nation. The president’s proposal to improve and expand rural energy, broadband, and surface transportation will help rural communities adapt and thrive in the modern American economy. As the president and Congress work together to finalize an infrastructure proposal, it’s important that the package continue to focus on more than roads and bridges. A vibrant 21st century rural economy depends on expanded high speed internet access and electric grid modernization efforts. We look forward to supporting an infrastructure bill that addresses the needs of rural families and communities.”

The Bipartisan Budget Agreement enacted by Congress contained a $20 billion “infrastructure initiative” for FY 18 and 19. Electric cooperatives have called on Congress to dedicate at least $2.5 billion of that funding per year to “broadband deployment in rural areas of the country.”

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