Clean energy expert Ivy Main looks at how a lack of transparency and democracy at many Virginia electric cooperatives is causing them to fall behind on renewable energy. Member-owners at Rappahannock Electric Cooperative are trying to change that.
The EPA did not update oil & gas waste rules despite protest, and is expected to change air pollution calculations to decrease health damage estimates. South Carolina passed an electric co-op transparency bill; West Virginia issued a pipeline permit without public input; and Murray Energy lost a labor rights appeal.
Much of America’s energy system still runs like it did in the early 20th century, but times are changing.
Members of Powell Valley Electric Cooperative have launched a campaign to make their cooperative more transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of its communities. The group has three candidates running for board seats and submitted a bylaw amendment.
As a resident of the North Carolina High Country and a member of Blue Ridge Energy, Appalachian Voices’ Rory McIlmoil believes the co-op can and must do better by its members.
Residents and beekeepers are working with electric cooperatives to opt out of herbicide applications.
Rural electric cooperatives’ legacy of rural economic development uniquely positions them to go beyond energy and find innovative solutions to challenges facing rural communities.
In East Tennessee, Holston Electric Cooperative is listening to its member-owners and responding with new services, like high-speed internet and an opt-out program for herbicide spraying near power lines.
Our Energy Savings team has been working to educate, organize and provide technical support to member-owners who want to increase participation in their rural electric cooperatives.
A new Tennessee law will provide $45 million in grants and tax credits for private companies to subsidize the buildout of rural fiber networks. It also allows rural electric cooperatives to provide broadband.