Power Lines Blog

Sliding home into the holiday season

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We have over 1,400 utility members, but each and every one is important to us, and we want to go into 2017 strong and unified. Tax reform promises to be high on the Congressional agenda come January, with the inevitable calls to repeal or weaken the tax-exempt status of bonds. I took this message on the road recently, speaking to the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities and the Public Power Council in Portland. Thank you so much to all of public power for putting your trust in us through your membership. Enjoy the best this season has to give.

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Southern swing

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Jim Matheson of NRECA and I discussed changes coming to electric utilities at a Tennessee Valley Authority forum. We also learned there about the customer research and distribution system modeling tools available to TVA local power companies from E Source and EPRI. After speaking at CEWD’s Summit back in Crystal City, where we learned about CEWD’s efforts to help utilities develop a diverse workforce, I traveled on to Georgia, to hear about MEAG Power’s nuclear initiatives in Georgia and meet with mayors and council members from public power communities.

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Back in the Cornhusker State

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I traveled to Kearney, Nebraska, for the annual meeting of the Nebraska Public Power District. NPPD’s Pat Pope made a point that I agree with — while traders thrive on market price volatility, which increases their profits, public power is in it for the long run and having a diversified portfolio of generation acts as a physical hedge against future price increases.

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From cyber threats to country music in one week

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Our Policymakers Council arrived in DC for more than 100 visits with legislators. As elected and appointed public officials, our policymakers are a vital part of APPA’s grassroots efforts. The DOE has awarded APPA and NRECA up to $15 million to help their utility members improve grid security. And I flew to Nashville to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration and annual meeting of the Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association.

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Back to the Great Plains

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At the 51st annual meeting of the Missouri River Energy Services, Peter Fox Penner, author of Smart Power, talked about public power’s future. MRES provided updates on solar and hydro projects and a program to provide qualified lineworkers to five communities in Minnesota. A veteran leader was honored for 40 years of service to public power.

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