Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, has welcomed a report called “Powering the Future: Ensuring That Federal Policy Fully Supports Electric Reliability – An Energy 20/20 White Paper,” published in February by U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

“Senator Murkowski’s paper is spot-on in its call for a more reliable and affordable electricity grid. Her assessment of the factors influencing the electric grid brings to light the importance of honest dialogue, and co-ops look forward to being part of that conversation.

“Regulations cannot occur in a vacuum. They must be deliberate and thoughtful. Folks in Washington often forget about the impact at the end of the line, but electric co-ops know first-hand the effect even a small price increase can have. That’s why we stand strong in supporting a true all-of-the-above energy policy that helps keep electricity affordable.”

Electric co-ops serve the majority of the persistent poverty counties in the U.S. As defined by the USDA’s Economic Research Service, these counties had 20 percent or more of their populations living in poverty over the last 30 years (view a map of co-op service territory overlaid with these counties at

“Sen. Murkowski’s report is a great paper on our industry and very consistent with the views of Michigan electric co-ops,” adds MECA CEO Craig Borr.

In August 2013, Murkowski received the NRECA Distinguished Service Award for her outstanding support for rural electrification and public power.