As 2020 draws to a close, we’ve conducted our annual tally of the stories that drew the most readers on electric.coop over the course of the year. It’s no surprise to see this year’s weightiest topics—the COVID-19 pandemic, the election, the historic hurricane season—atop the rankings. But in a nod to these strange times, the co-op angle on the infamous “Tiger King” documentary was also a major attention-grabber.
Our post-election analysis highlighted President-elect Joe Biden’s planned agenda regarding key issues affecting electric cooperatives, including the economy, infrastructure, rural broadband and carbon emissions.
What was it like to be the co-op serving the now-closed G.W. Exotic Animal Park? Employees of Lindsay, Oklahoma-based Rural Electric Cooperative share their stories of service calls to the 16-acre big cat zoo that rose to fame earlier this year due to the popular Netflix documentary “Tiger King.”
Our first story on co-ops’ COVID-19 response in mid-March, detailing their initial health and safety steps, kicked off months of coverage showing the impact of the pandemic on co-ops and how co-ops are supporting their communities.
NRECA’s legislative priorities this year focused largely on relief for co-ops and their members during the pandemic. The $2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress in late March offered millions in aid for families struggling to pay their utility bills and billions in grants for small businesses.
In the most active storm season on record, Hurricane Laura packed the biggest punch. The Category 4 storm pummeled Louisiana co-ops in late August, and repairs are still ongoing. “We’re used to hurricanes, but this is the worst storm that we’ve seen in Louisiana, and hopefully will be the worst we ever see in our lifetimes,” Jeffrey Arnold, CEO of the Association of Louisiana Electric Cooperatives, said in the days after landfall.
Wishing a safe and happy holiday season to electric.coop readers. We look forward to telling more co-op stories in 2021.