Thomas Paine once said, “It is not in numbers, but in unity, that our great strength lies.”
We are experiencing a continued trend of population shifting from rural to urban and suburban areas in Oklahoma. Noting this change is important for many reasons. One area of importance is that rural areas often qualify for different types of federal funding, like broadband infrastructure investments, for example. A challenge is that with fewer numbers, it takes more voices to gain the attention of decision makers.
Voices for Cooperative Power (VCP) is a network of electric co-op members working together to influence elected officials who are making energy policy decisions that impact our co-ops and, by extension, our way of life.
Part of my role at the statewide association is to keep up to date on all pending and current industry changes and legislative issues impacting electric co-ops and our member systems. America’s energy system is going through a fundamental transformation—and much of the focus in Washington is on large utilities in urban areas. Our electric co-ops are fundamentally different from investor-owned utilities. Our experiences and the ways we use energy are unique.
Now more than ever, as owners of your co-ops, we need to make our voices heard in conversations about energy policies that impact not only our co-op services, but the communities we call home.
Speaking up on issues that impact electric co-ops sends a message to elected officials about the needs of our communities—and their constituencies. VCP gives you a platform to talk about the many ways your electric co-op supports your community. Beyond delivering electricity, co-ops provide jobs, stability, and economic growth—all while ensuring that energy affordability and reliability remain foundational advantages of electric co-op membership.
I encourage you to join the VCP network to help co-ops continue to build a brighter future with safe, affordable and reliable power.
By Chris Meyers
General Manager | Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives