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Farm Bill

Electric cooperatives are engines of economic development working to power and empower local communities across the nation. The Farm Bill is a crucial tool for electric co-ops and for America’s rural communities.

Where we stand

The Farm Bill is a crucial tool for electric co-ops as they work to provide important financing options that help keep the lights on and accelerate the deployment of broadband internet across rural America.

Digging deeper

Maintain affordable, reliable electric service

Rural Utilities Service electric infrastructure financing programs and new clean energy initiatives help co-ops meet traditional electric needs and promote clean energy deployment. Collectively, these programs help co-ops keep electric bills affordable while meeting the expectations of our consumer-members. We urge Congress to oppose policies that would lead to higher electricity costs for rural families, businesses and communities.

Help bridge the digital divide

A reliable broadband connection is vital for a modern electric grid, and it also creates new ways to live, learn and earn in rural America. Many electric cooperatives are working to expand rural broadband access in unserved and underserved areas of the country, in addition to integrating smart grid technologies to their electric networks. We encourage Congress to use the Farm Bill to robustly fund scalable broadband networks that meet current and future needs in rural America and allow providers additional flexibilities to meet the unique challenges posed by hard-to-reach areas.

Reauthorize USDA toolbox of programs for electric cooperatives

Owned by the communities that they serve, electric co-ops have a vested interest in the success and safety of their people and places. USDA programs like the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, Rural Energy Savings Program, Rural Energy for America Program and Rural Cooperative Development Program are crucial for co-ops as we carry out our mission to power and improve the quality of life in rural communities. We urge Congress to maintain these critical tools for electric co-ops.

Modernize the permitting process

The federal permitting process has continually expanded over the last four decades, resulting in delays and added costs for electric co-op infrastructure projects. For electric co-op consumer-members, this means longer waiting times to get high-speed internet and higher electricity bills. We urge the Congress to modernize and improve the federal environmental review process across USDA-Rural Development, specifically for RUS projects.

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