It comes and before you even knew it was a possibility, it may be gone. That’s the political game being played and the game board is rural America.
“It” is the money allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act specifically targeted to rural electric coops. That money would come to us under the Empowering Rural America Program.
Sounds good, right? The first catch is to encourage your Electric Cooperative to make a pitch for the nearly $10 million dollars set aside for each cooperative. There are twenty-four in Wisconsin alone. That could be $240 million coming into the state to help offset our electric bills and to aid our transition to clean renewables. Our electric coops need only to create a plan in order to ask for the money. The money is available to those who ask.
But wait. You’ve heard of the deal made to keep the United States from hitting the debt limit. What you may not have heard is that one of the cuts Congress is asking for is the very same money that has not yet made it to us. It is, of course, the Empowering Rural America money.
Not only do you need to let your cooperative know where you stand, you need to remind your Congressperson that they are governing a rural part of the state and we could surely use that money.
If that were all that there was to this story, it would be a simple one. But there’s more. The farm bill’s Rural Energy for America Program is also being targeted in the House along with eliminating funding for climate research. Same old, same old.
Nothing will change unless we all care enough to take action.
Listen to this WDRT Conversation with Allan Buss, Board President of Vernon County Energy District to learn more.
photo from wikipedia commons thanks to Carol M. Highsmith