National Rural Electric Cooperative Association expresses concern over budget cuts

Published on May 26, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) issued a statement this week expressing concern over President Trump’s fiscal year 2018 budget request, which includes cuts to a range of programs the organization said could harm rural communities.

“The President’s budget includes a number of concerning proposals that would handcuff rural families and businesses,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson said.

The statement cited the impact the proposal could have on Power Marketing Administrations (PMA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development programs. More than 600 rural electric cooperatives in more than 30 states receive an allocation of PMA power.

“A healthy rural America can be the rising tide that lifts the nation’s economy and the standard of living in countless communities,” Matheson said. “Rather than shifting funds away from critical programs that have a record of success, the administration should be working with co-ops and other stakeholders to jump start rural America’s economic engines. We look forward to continuing to work with the administration, members of Congress and other stakeholders to prioritize the needs of rural America.”

NRECA also voiced disapproval of the impact the proposal could have on the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). For more than 50 years, NRECA’s international program has partnered with USAID and electric cooperatives to bring electricity to more than 120 million people in 43 developing countries.