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Co-ops provide legislative tool

Chris Meyers

We enter the second session of the Oklahoma 56th State Legislature on the first Monday of February. Amidst several issues the Legislature will attempt to address, the priorities remain revenue and the budget.

The Legislature will also work on energy-related bills, some that could potentially impact rural electric cooperatives. As with every legislative year, your statewide association will track and work those bills that have the likelihood of impacting electric co-ops. Our approach is to “stay in our lane” and avoid getting drawn into issues that could distract us from our mission of delivering safe, reliable and affordable electric power to our members. We do our best to ensure that only fair and balanced energy-related bills are passed.

Electric cooperatives like to emphasize the importance of constituents engaging with their elected officials. To help facilitate this interaction, co-ops offer a free legislative app with helpful information about each member of the Oklahoma Legislature as well as elected federal officials.

I encourage you to take a few minutes to download the “OAEC 56th Legislative App” and explore its interactive profiles. If you are not sure who your elected officials are, the map function provided in the app will help you to find them. A touch of the finger on your location and you will know your legislative districts, elected officials, and have a direct link from your mobile device or tablet to their office phones and e-mails.

Electric cooperatives have always been politically active. Co-ops primarily serve rural and low-density areas; thus they have unique issues that are important in maintaining affordable electricity at the forefront. It’s through their members-owners that co-ops have been most effective when working with elected officials.
Understandably, not everyone takes the time to get closely familiar with every co-op issue. We get that; you can be assured your cooperative and your statewide association are working on your behalf. However, on critical issues of high impact, we will ask you to speak up for your co-op from time to time, and I hope that you will.

Enjoy the newest version of the legislative app and use it to help support your locally owned, managed, and operated cooperative.