Co-ops discuss energy policy during day on the hill
NASHVILLE – Electric cooperative leaders from across the state gathered in Nashville on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 28 and March 1, for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s 2023 Legislative Conference. More than 150 electric co-op members and employees were in attendance to learn about pressing legislation that will impact electric co-ops and the rural and suburban communities they serve.
Paul Bailey, chairman of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee, and Kevin Vaughan, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, welcomed attendees to Nashville and discussed opportunities facing the state.
“You are the backbone of Tennessee’s success story,” said Sen. Bailey.
During meetings with legislators on Capitol Hill, co-op leaders stressed the important role co-ops play in their communities and briefed lawmakers on issues that impact rural and suburban Tennessee.
“Electric co-ops are important to the communities we serve” says Ryan King, vice president of government affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. “In order to successfully serve our communities, it is important to tell the electric cooperative story and educate lawmakers about the impact of proposed legislation. Keeping rates low is a major priority for electric co-ops. It is critical that we monitor the impacts of legislation and regulatory actions in order to remain good stewards of the resources with which we have been entrusted.”
“Legislators consider bills that have serious consequences for co-ops and the communities they serve,” says Keith Carnahan, president of TECA’s board of trustees and CEO of Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative located in Centerville. “We must tell legislators that co-ops are not-for-profit, member-owned and –regulated private businesses that impact rural and suburban Tennessee in many ways.”
More than 100 legislative visits were made during the conference, and many legislators from across the state attended a reception honoring members of the Tennessee General Assembly.
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