Six Electric Co-op Policy Priorities for the New Congress

The U.S. Capitol is reflected in a Capitol Visitor Center fountain. (Photo By: Bloomberg Creative Photos)

NRECA advocates on many public policy issues on behalf of electric cooperatives. As the new Congress kicks off, here’s a look at several electric co-op policy priorities for 2019.

Energy Policy/Infrastructure

The potential for energy and infrastructure legislation presents a significant opportunity as electric cooperatives work to meet the growing needs of their communities. NRECA will work to ensure that any infrastructure package focuses on more than roads and bridges, including opportunities to modernize the electric grid and expand rural broadband access.


NRECA will promote and encourage bipartisan support for energy research and development programs—including on renewables and programs that focus on finding a viable use for carbon capture, utilization and storage.


Expanded rural broadband access remains a priority for NRECA. As electric co-ops engage the new Congress, we will work to ensure that all rural broadband discussions include the electric co-op perspective.

Contract lineman Brandon Sims helps with BARC Electric Cooperative’s broadband efforts in Lexington, Virginia. (USDA Photo by Preston Keres)

Employee Benefits

NRECA provides benefits to 56,000 electric cooperative employees nationwide. We will continue working to protect electric cooperative employee retirement benefits by supporting legislation to substantially reduce the insurance premiums that co-ops pay to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

Tax Policy

The 2017 tax reform law included a provision that treated federal grants as income, threatening the tax-exempt status of some electric cooperatives. NRECA will seek to fix this unintended consequence of the tax law.

Grid Resilience

Protecting our nation’s vast power grid is a national priority and focus for electric cooperatives. Ensuring appropriate information sharing and preserving existing partnerships and structures are essential to these efforts.  We will advocate for resources and technologies that meet the unique cybersecurity and recovery needs of small and medium-sized utilities to help protect our systems.

Listen to our podcast episode on how NRECA works with Congress to advocate for co-op priorities: