On both the federal and state level, the WREA is active in promoting the interests of Wyoming’s electric cooperatives and the member-customers they serve. The WREA works closely with legislators to ensure that new policies and regulations do not hinder the state’s cooperatives from providing the same high level of service that consumers have always enjoyed.
The WREA works in tandem with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) to advocate the cooperative business model among decision makers in Washington D.C. As federal legislators propose new laws and policies, the WREA and NRECA are ready to represent electric cooperatives’ priorities and inform member-consumers about the latest developments and debates.
Electric Industry Issues
Compared to other electric utilities, electric cooperatives differ in both ownership structure and purpose. As private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned businesses, they bring a consumer-oriented perspective on legislation and regulation affecting the wholesale energy market and other aspects of the electric industry.
In March of 2012, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu sent a memo to the federal Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs) laying the groundwork for new policies, including new transmission policies that could alter the historic arrangement that has guaranteed affordable electric power for rural co-ops.
As Congress and the Administration work to create federal climate change policy, the nation’s demand for electric power is growing. America’s electric cooperatives are seeking a realistic policy that will protect their ability to provide reliable, affordable electric power.
The Cooperative Workplace and Workforce
Nationwide, cooperatives employ more than 70,000 workers. Electric cooperatives are committed to protecting their safety and long-term well-being.
Electric cooperatives advocate common sense public policies on air quality, water, and land resources that balance environmental stewardship with our need for energy to power the nation’s economy.
Fuels and Other Resources
Electric cooperatives use a wide range of fuels to generate electric power. This diversity—including the “fifth fuel,” energy efficiency—helps maintain a reliable and affordable electric supply for member-consumers by ensuring that regionally plentiful resources can be utilized.
Among the factors that influence the level of service electric cooperatives offer their member-owners, state laws and regulations are some of the most significant. The WREA is active in monitoring the possible effects of state policies and engaging in government relations to ensure the conversation surrounding new legislation includes the perspective of the state’s electric cooperatives.
The WREA’s involvement in state issues reflects its commitment to support Wyoming residents in the most effective way it can—by providing safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to communities throughout the state.
The policy areas that the WREA follows closely include:
- Energy Policy
- Economic Development
- Employee Safety and Labor Laws
- Tax Policy
- Transportation and Fuels
- Rights-of-way and Eminent Domain
- Environmental Protection and Conservation Policy
- Territorial Protection