March 04, 2024

Local leaders talk public power in Washington D.C.

Member Utilities,Advocacy

WPPI member community elected and appointed officials, commissioners and utility managers flew out to Washington D.C. this week to talk face-to-face with their legislators about issues important to their communities.

The three days of advocacy were organized by the American Public Power Association for its annual 2024 Legislative Rally. The local leaders advocated on behalf of locally owned, not-for-profit utilities while meeting with U.S. senators and representatives. Attendees met personally with Sens. Tammy Baldwin, Ron Johnson, Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley. They also met with the offices of U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, Jack Bergman, Scott Fitzgerald, Mike Gallagher, Glenn Grothman, Tom Tiffany, Ashley Hinson, Derrick Van Orden, and U.S. Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow.

“By meeting with our legislators, we can help ensure national policymakers keep public power customers in mind when they’re making proposals,” said Joseph Owen, WPPI Energy director of government affairs, who also attended the rally.

Representatives from member-owners of joint action agency WPPI Energy spoke during these meetings about the importance of ensuring utilities receive the help they need during the ongoing supply chain crisis.

They also discussed the need for streamlined federal permitting and siting rules to bolster infrastructure and maintain electric reliability, reducing the cost of investments in that infrastructure, a more secure energy grid, and providing responsible and reliable energy through a mix of sources.

“Legislators’ choices have consequences in our local communities, so it is important to present our view,” Owen said. “We are fortunate to have a congressional delegation that hears the issues from communities with public power utilities and works to help however they can.”