Rural Missouri Magazine

Our valuable trust

Frank Stork
by Frank Stork

The 47 electric cooperatives in Missouri work closely together to build and maintain their very important business trust. On the national level, 1,000 electric cooperatives come together through their National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) for the same purpose. Because of the trust they hold, the nations’ electric cooperatives can have a lot of influence on national energy policy.

Just a few weeks ago, the REC members of NRECA came together for their annual conference and business meeting. While a big part of the annual event is set aside for technical and professional training, the most important reason for getting together is to develop grassroots policies related to the electric power industry. Each local system is encouraged to become involved in the national process through participation in regional meetings and the general business session.

This year the focus of the conference was on service reliability and cost control. While these issues are an important part of each annual meeting, they took on a very special meaning this year. The electric cooperative delegates were reminded of the business trust they have amassed over the years and how important it is to hold on to that trust. They were reminded that in this time of widespread business fraud motivated by greed and personal gain, the trust the electric cooperatives hold was even more valuable.

When electric cooperatives come together through their national association to shape grassroots policies, a lot of good things happen. Because of their industry trust, members of the United States Congress actively seek the guidance of electric cooperatives when shaping national energy legislation. When the 1,000 electric cooperatives speak as one, their clear and powerful voice has a lot of influence.

Collectively, the electric cooperatives lay their trust on the line hundreds of times each year as issues related to the electric power industry are debated in the Congress and in state legislatures. As they do that, they are ever mindful of their responsibility and allegiance to consumers at the end of the line.

As we employ the many uses of electricity in our homes each hour of each day, we can appreciate its value even more when we think about how our local electric cooperatives benefit all energy consumers. Through the efforts of our local systems working with electric cooperatives all across this great land, we can be assured that rate stability, service reliability and consumer interests will remain the focus of any national energy policy we have a part in shaping.

Also, because of local ownership and local control of our nation’s 1,000 electric co-ops, we can be assured that our valuable trust will remain strong and will continue to be a positive business influence for a long time to come.

Stork was executive vice president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives and a member of Three Rivers Electric Co-op.

Rural Missouri | June 2020 Issue

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