What is important

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    What is important

    The week of March 12 was an eventful one in Nashville, to say the least. More than 200 devoted directors and employees from Tennessee’s electric cooperatives were in the state capital to participate in the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s annual Legislative Conference, Day on the Hill and Legislative Reception. Taking time away from their busy schedules, these individuals heard from and talked with some of Tennessee’s most powerful governmental officials about the key issues impacting your local community — and your member-owned electric co-op. I had the privilege of coordinating these two very full days, but fortunately I was unable […]

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    Patience is a virtue

    Mike Knotts, Director of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association For years, I’ve heard the saying, “Patience is a virtue.” I’m not sure I’ve ever really thought about what that means. Have you? I just hear it, reflexively agree with it and move on to the next thing. Just another cliché, something that people say. According to Wikipedia, “A virtue is a positive trait or quality subjectively deemed to be morally excellent and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being.” I know Wikipedia might not be the most authoritative source, but I think […]

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    Decennial decisions

    Mike Knotts, Director of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association One man. One vote. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Every citizen in the U.S. has the right to equal representation. We may take this principle for granted, but it is one of the cornerstones of our form of government, a representative republic. What makes our system of government different from a democracy, however, is that our votes are cast in order to elect an individual who will represent us in a legislative body that deliberates and decides the people’s business. Our own vote does not directly […]

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    Spreading Mayberry ideals on Capitol Hill

    Mike Knotts, Director of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association I love “The Andy Griffith Show.” That’s not exactly breaking news, I know. It’s only one of the most popular television shows in history. And I suppose having a father whose name is Don Knotts may have helped pique my interest many years ago. But few can disagree that there is just something about that program that resonates with people across America. While my father was not the actor who played the iconic Barney Fife, I do relish the thought of life in Mayberry. Life was simple, doors […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Photo ID required to vote

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation earlier this year that added new requirements for those eligible to vote. The legislation was passed this past spring but takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. Beginning with next year’s elections, potential voters will have to show government-issued photo identification if they choose to cast their ballots at the polls. The photo ID law was implemented to safeguard elections against voter fraud. The new requirement will have little impact for most voters — at least those who are licensed drivers. As […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    R&D Necessary for an Affordable Future

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association Almost three years ago, I wrote about the Obama-Biden comprehensive New Energy for America Plan. During the 2008 presidential campaign, the candidates said their plan would “help create 5 million new jobs by strategically investing $150 billion over the next 10 years to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future” As of early September 2011, at least 1,100 of those new jobs aren’t there, nor is the $535 million that helped fund them. Solyndra LLC, which manufactured solar systems for commercial rooftops, suspended operations […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Smart grid, smarter operators

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association There are several misconceptions on what a “smart grid” is and the extent of its capabilities. One of the most troubling within our industry is the idea that our current grid is not already fairly intelligent in the way it operates. New technologies that are being deployed will greatly enhance the abilities of our current electric distribution network. But our existing network in the Tennessee Valley is reliable, durable and monitored around the clock by both man and machine. In particular, the high-voltage electric transmission system […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    We can’t prevent, so we prepare

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association I’ve mentioned before that cooperative employees take pride in their daily work of providing service to our members. They also take great pride in providing emergency assistance — in their hometowns or several states away. The Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association helps our member co-ops coordinate disaster assistance both within the state and with cooperatives in other states. We regularly meet with representatives from other regions to develop plans on coping with disasters. We recently held a meeting where we reviewed the past year’s ice storms, tornadoes […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    In the eyes of the beholder

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association For most of us, nothing is more beautiful than a towering mountain vista, a scenic green valley or uninterrupted acres of farmland. As we drive across our state, it’s easy to let our minds wander as we admire nature’s handiwork. For others, however, what constitutes beauty is decidedly different. If you ever take a ride with an engineer or lineman from an electric cooperative, you’ll discover that fact. Often, they are more apt to admire the wires, poles and substations as these are the major elements […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Narrow focus urged on cyber measure

    by David Callis, Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association The electric power industry and the bulk power system reliability watchdog are capable of responding to “the overwhelming majority of identified threats” to the system, a National Rural Electric Cooperative Association representative testified on Capitol Hill. The self-regulatory model recognizes expertise throughout the industry and is the best means of maintaining a strong, reliable bulk power system, said Barry Lawson, NRECA associate director for power delivery and reliability. Lawson spoke at a May 31 hearing by the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power examining draft legislation […]

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