The Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives (AREA) is a member-owned federation of 22 electric distribution cooperatives. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a member of AREA and serves as wholesale power supplier to eight member cooperatives located in the northern part of Alabama. PowerSouth Energy Cooperative, also a member of AREA, provides wholesale power to 12 member cooperatives in the central and southern sections of Alabama. Southern Power also supplies wholesale power to Alabama cooperatives.
Donors turn out for Baldwin EMC's blood drive
|Donors saved 234 lives by giving blood during Baldwin EMC’s Spring Into Action drive on March 27. The event’s organizers are calling it a huge success.
The Spring Into Action drive was held in Baldwin EMC’s training center at their headquarters office in Summerdale. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m, the staff from LifeSouth Community Blood Center collected 78 blood donations. Each donation can go on to save as many as 3 lives, including accident victims, surgical patients and more. All of the donations taken during the Spring Into Action drive will benefit local hospitals.
According to LifeSouth donor recruiter Greg Padilla, the number of people who donated blood during the Spring Into Action drive is a great benefit. “These are amazing results. There will be up to 234 lives saved because of the effort Baldwin EMC provided to get donors in the door,” Padilla said.
Karen Moore, Baldwin EMC’s vice president of energy services and public relations, said that the Spring Into Action drive is part of Baldwin EMC’s efforts to be member focused and community involved. “Every donation that came in during the drive directly benefits the local community,” Moore said. “We’re saving lives right here at home, and that’s something Baldwin EMC is very proud of.”
Co-ops must fight for affordable energy, NRECA CEO says
|NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson wants electric cooperative leaders to forge a new legacy for the co-op movement by mobilizing their 42 million members to advance the cause of reliable, affordable electricity.
Speaking at the recent 72nd NRECA Annual Meeting, Emerson challenged co-op managers, directors and staffers to swell the ranks of the Action.coop campaign and bring what she called “common sense” to federal energy policy. Co-op members have been asked to join the campaign online at action.coop.
“This is a fight for our survival, and, by God, we are going to put everything we have into it,” she said. “We turned the lights on. We keep the lights burning. And now, our goal is to make the light bulb come on in Washington.”
Delivering a serious yet upbeat message, Emerson said co-ops face a great challenge in dealing with Environmental Protection Agency regulations that target the nation’s fuel mix.
But co-ops’ will to meet that challenge is even greater, Emerson added, as she asked attendees to enlist 10 people each in Action.coop when they return to their communities. Action.coop already is responsible for more than 300,000 messages to EPA.
“Our challenge is set: Tell the EPA what climate regulations will do to our families, our businesses and our communities. And it doesn’t matter if they don’t like our story because at least they will hear our story. And, wow, do we have a story to tell. Cooperatives work,” Emerson said.
In a 25-minute speech interrupted half-a-dozen times by applause, Emerson emphasized that co-ops are national leaders in energy efficiency and renewable energy, owning and purchasing more than 5.7 gigawatts of renewable capacity and 10 GW of hydropower.
“That’s more than 10 percent of the U.S. total. With one-twentieth of the generation in the U.S. and one-eighth of the energy customers, that is a remarkable achievement,” Emerson said.
Yet intermittent sources such as wind and solar cannot replace the coal-based generation that has been the backbone of the electric grid, Emerson warned.
As a result, she said, co-ops need to be heard on EPA plans that would hamstring future coal plants by requiring expensive carbon capture and storage controls that are not commercially viable. EPA plans to issue emissions standards for existing coal plants in June.
“These regulations practically mandate an increase to the cost of energy. It is wishful thinking and at great expense to our members,” she said.
Emerson said co-ops have the power to build a future in which they act as engines of community development, improve the quality of life in rural America and deliver electricity free of unreasonable restraints.
“This vision is closer than we think. This vision is within our reach. But we’re going to have to fight for it, whether we want to or not,” she said.