Power Lines Blog

The Annual Gathering of Public Power

Sue Kelly National Conference

APPA staff has just gotten back from our 2015 National Conference in Minneapolis, which went from June 5 through 10. Our annual gathering is an opportunity to meet and learn from each other, and to remember why we do what we do. In the end, it really is all about the retail customers — providing them with reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electric service. The ways we do that are going to change, but the mission will not.

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Blazing a Legislative Trail Toward a Bright Energy Future

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APPA commends @lisamurkowski on putting together the first comprehensive energy package since 2005. APPA is ready to work with @SenateEnergy to improve Americans’ access to affordable, reliable, and environmentally responsible electric power. Sue Kelly testifies on hydropower licensing, mandatory capacity markets, and a federal renewable energy standard.

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Connecting with Public Power in the Heartland

Connecting with Public Power in the Heartland

I spent April on the East and West Coasts. Since then, I have been travelling in the Nation’s Heartland. I have eaten dinner with Harry and Bess Truman (really!) and the members of the Transmission Access Policy Study Group (TAPS) at the Truman Library in Independence, MO, had brats and beer with the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma (MESO) in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites in Norman, OK, and partaken of an elegant meal at the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa with other attendees at the SPP Board meeting.

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Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Public Power Coast to Coast

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My last two weeks have been spent in planes, trains and automobiles. I have been in upstate New York, Southern California, and New York City. Public power systems across the country should be paying close attention to what is going on in New York and California, to glean lessons learned. We should be incorporating new ways to serve our customers when it makes sense to do so. The hardest task is distinguishing between the fads and the trends.

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Road Trip to French Lick: The Vital Role of Joint Action Agencies

Public Power at French Lick

I went to French Lick, Indiana, to speak at the annual meeting of IMPA, a joint action agency serving 60 Indiana public power electric utilities. Our joint action agencies play a vital role in the public power ecosystem, handling power supply, transmission, and a host of other services for their local utility members. This allows the members to do what they do best — provide reliable, reasonably priced and environmentally responsible retail electric service.

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How to Avoid Being the Horse that “Shows” in a Three Horse Race

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One of public power’s long-standing challenges is to make our governing bodies understand that the salaries paid to “enterprise” employees need to be competitive with those offered by other employers in the field. For these specialized skill sets and responsibilities, standard city government pay scales often just will not cut it. The old adage “you get what you pay for” will increasingly apply in our industry as our boomers retire and must be replaced.

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