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Electric cooperatives have shown what a responsible approach to meeting tomorrow’s energy needs can look like. Co-ops lowered their carbon emissions by 23% between 2005 and 2020, the equivalent of taking nearly 9 million cars off the road. They’ve also invested in energy innovation to help meet tomorrow’s needs.

Where we stand

NRECA believes that environmental, wildlife and land management policies should encourage flexible, local approaches rather than imposing costly one-size-fits-all rules that discourage innovation. We favor policies that rely on incentives and encourage voluntary conservation efforts.

Digging deeper

Endangered species/wildlife management

NRECA is working to modernize the Endangered Species Act to ensure species are protected for future generations. Voluntary conservation efforts, where possible, can preserve at-risk species and avoid the need for added protection. For example, NRECA helped establish a voluntary conservation program to protect the habitat of the monarch butterfly as part of the co-op right-of-way management programs. This gives participating co-ops regulatory certainty if the species is listed or can avoid listing through voluntary measures.

Clean air

Electric co-ops have made significant progress reducing emissions, including a 68% reduction in nitrogen oxide and an 82% reduction in sulfur dioxide from 2005 to 2021. Co-ops continue to accelerate the shift to natural gas-fired generation and renewable energy such that nearly two-thirds of electricity used by co-op members is from zero- or low-emission sources.

Clean water

NRECA is working to ensure that policies and regulations reflect the unique perspective of co-ops and their consumer-members. Specifically, we are focused on working to clarify how the Waters of the United States are defined and implemented so that co-ops can comply in a timely and cost-effective way.

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