July 29, 2019- As leaders in the communities they serve, Kansas electric cooperatives continue to engage their members and policymakers through Co-ops Vote, a non-partisan campaign focused on boosting voter turnout in areas served by cooperatives and educating voters and policymakers on issues important to rural Kansans.
As part of this year’s Co-ops Vote activities, Wheatland Electric Cooperative hosted two Kansas legislators and local officials at their Finney County office on July 29 to discuss topics related to the delivery of affordable and reliable electricity in rural areas. In attendance were state Representatives John Wheeler and Russ Jennings.
Staff of Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., who helped coordinate the event, discussed issues including lack of access to high-speed, reliable broadband; renewable generation; retail wheeling; transmission and generation build out; and utility ratemaking for non-profit electric co-ops. KEC staff also outlined the economic impact electric co-ops have on their communities and the United States: supporting nearly 612,000 American jobs and contributing $440 billion in U.S. Gross Domestic Product between 2013 and 2017, or $88 billion annually. In 2017 alone, electric cooperatives generated $22.5 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
Representative Russ Jennings said, “Issues important to the electric cooperatives are issues that are important to the community because they make up the co-op. In Kansas we are spoiled with reliable and relatively inexpensive energy to heat and cool our homes and businesses. It’s good to hear what the issues are that are on the horizon.”.
Kansas electric cooperatives are deeply committed to providing affordable and reliable electricity to their members and empowering the communities they serve. This means being more than just an electricity provider; it means being a partner in economic development and other activities that improve the lives of their members. KEC and its member electric cooperatives will continue to initiate dialogue with Kansas policymakers through future Co-ops Vote activities for the benefit of the members they serve.
Wheatland General Manager Bruce Mueller, “Co-ops Vote events give us the ability to express our ideas and needs to elected officials but then it’s also important for the employees here to get to know our elected officials.”