Denver hosts NRECA regional meeting

Nearly 800 directors, employees and other officials of electric cooperatives and related organizations from Colorado and 12 other western states are meeting in Denver this week as part of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s series of 2011 regional meetings.  This year, Region 7 co-ops (located in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and Kansas) are being joined in a combined meeting by their colleagues from Region 9 (which includes Alaska, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington).
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock opened up the first general session of the NRECA Region 7/9 meeting by welcoming the nearly 800 attendees to the Mile High City.

The regional meetings present an opportunity to dialogue about how electric co-ops can meet the challenges ahead and continue to provide affordable and reliable power to their member-consumers.  The showcase theme for this year’s meetings is “Electric Cooperatives Build a Better World,” and sessions focus on effective leadership on the topics of technologies that transform co-ops, the cooperative difference and building stronger co-op safety performance.

Yesterday morning (Oct. 12) Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock welcomed those in attendance at the event’s first general session, encouraging them to enjoy and experience the Mile High City while also feeling free “to walk down the 16th Street Mall and spend lots of money.”

The mayor was followed to the podium by NRECA senior vice president/government relations Kirk Johnson, who provided an overview about the nation’s future of power supply and the many regulatory, legislative and economic factors that will no doubt impact it.

NRECA CEO Glenn English called Congress “polarized” in its attempt to address a variety of issues.

NRECA CEO Glenn English also gave a keynote speech, which touched on many present and future challenges that electric co-ops across the country must address.  Regarding one specific issue, English said Congress needs to pass laws to prevent a wave of rules and regulations from threatening the affordability and reliability of electric power.  But, he also stated that Congress is so polarized that it can’t reach consensus on many pending issues.

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