FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Members take co-op message to legislators
NASHVILLE – Directors and staff from [CO-OP NAME] were among more than 200 electric co-op leaders in Nashville on Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 9 and 10, for the 2016 Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s Legislative Conference. [CO-OP NAME] directors [DIRECTOR NAMES] joined [CO-OP STAFF NAMES AND TITLES] in meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill to help them better understand electric cooperatives and the issues that impact rural and suburban Tennessee.
House Speaker Beth Harwell welcomed the group to Nashville. “You serve 71 percent of our state and 2.5 million Tennesseans,” she said. “We recognize the impact you have on our state.”
Tennessee’s electric cooperatives maintain a visible presence in Nashville and Washington, D.C., to protect the interests of co-op members. “We are here to give a voice to rural Tennesseans,” says David Callis, CEO of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We must tell the electric cooperative story and educate lawmakers about the impact of proposed legislation.”
“Decisions made in Nashville can have serious consequences for our co-op, our members and the communities we serve,” says [CO-OP LEADER, TITLE]. “We have a responsibility to our members to see that their voice is heard.” Attendees reminded legislators that co-ops are not-for-profit, member-owned and -regulated private businesses that impact rural and suburban Tennessee in many ways.
Visits focused on specific legislation that impacts co-ops and the communities they serve. Co-op leaders expressed support for a bill that allows electric co-ops to provide broadband Internet service. “We serve the areas with the greatest need for broadband,” says Mike Knotts, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “We have a role to play in bringing high-speed connectivity to rural Tennessee.” Co-ops also voiced their support of legislation that modernizes the tax code for co-ops and discussed the impact of the recent Supreme Court decision to halt implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
“Educated and informed legislators are necessary for us to provide low-cost, reliable power, and our members make a powerful impression when they come to Nashville,” says Knotts. More than 100 legislative visits were made during the conference, and dozens of legislators from across the state attended a reception honoring members of the Tennessee General Assembly.
The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association provides legislative and communication support for Tennessee’s 23 electric cooperatives and publishes The Tennessee Magazine, the state’s most widely circulated periodical. Visit tnelectric.org or tnmagazine.org to learn more.
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Trent Scott | Vice President of Strategy | 615.515.5534 | email@example.com