ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) $2.5 billion investment in rural electric infrastructure announced today:
“We are extremely pleased that USDA is making such a major investment in rural development and infrastructure through new loans to America’s electric cooperatives. USDA is an important partner helping us illuminate rural America and empower the communities we serve. That partnership is critical to co-ops’ ability to maintain, expand and improve rural electric infrastructure.
“Every business, farm, home and school has one essential need in common: access to reliable power. That common denominator is a foundational strength of the entire American economy, an important fact recognized by USDA.
“These loans will allow co-ops all across the country to maintain and strengthen reliability of the electric grid through a wide range of projects, from the construction of new transmission and distribution lines to smart grid improvements and technology integration. As policymakers consider ways to improve the country’s aging infrastructure, it is critical that rural America not be left behind. We greatly appreciate USDA’s substantial investment in rural communities.”
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.