9. Lobbying activities?
Through our affiliates and trade organizations, DCEC does perform much legislative work on behalf of the interests of the Members.
DCEC is one of the four electric cooperatives in New York. The four cooperatives have created a statewide association. The New York State Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Inc. (NYSRECA) is a service organization for the New York State Rural Electric Cooperatives. Its purpose is to foster and promote the mutual interests and welfare of rural electric cooperatives in New York State. NYSRECA hired consultant services to act on behalf of the cooperatives representing the association's interest before the New York state legislature, executive and state government agencies and to develop and maintain an ongoing relationship with key legislative and governmental leaders.
DCEC also belongs to the New York Association of Public Power (NYAPP). NYAPP is an association of municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives serving various communities across New York State. NYAPP members provide safe and reliable electric service to their customers members. NYAPP was created in 2005 as a non-profit, non-partisan organization operating in a complex energy market. Its purpose is to advance the interests of its members and their customers and provides services that ensure adequate and reliable electric service at a reasonable price. Also, NYAPP monitors ongoing legislative activities in Washington D.C. and Albany, and keep members apprised of events and legislation that will affect them and promote strong and active involvement in these areas.
Additionally, DCEC is a member of The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). NRECA represents more than 900 consumer-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives, public power districts, and public utility districts across America. In addition to lobbying Congress on behalf of and along with our members, the Government Relations team of NRECA is actively involved with regulatory issues that impact cooperatives.
10. How much of the multi-billion-dollar infrastructure plan are we getting?
DCEC continues to monitor for opportunities and looks forward to being able to review the final plan.
At the time of writing this response, the infrastructure plan and reconciliation package have been really played up in the media. In actuality, both are still just bits and pieces of wishful thinking and rhetoric . There are no concise physical documents.
The last ‘speculation’ was that infrastructure made a small percentage of the ‘infrastructure bill’ when social programs are removed from the total. Much like a large family having to share a single pie at a picnic, the large numbers are impressive, but actual opportunity is much smaller when the areas that do not directly or indirectly apply to DCEC and our area are backed out of the total.
The $550 Billion portion actually for infrastructure as described a couple months ago:
• Power and Grid: $65B - Includes the bipartisan, ENR-passed Energy Infrastructure Act, which includes funds for grid reliability and resiliency and support for a Grid Deployment Authority; critical minerals and supply chains for clean energy technology; DCEC is not in transmission, nor do we serve mines or suppliers of materials for building energy technology. The GDA would be a governmental agency for siting new transmission corridors for large-scale wind/solar projects.
• Broadband: $65B - Grants to states for broadband deployment DCEC is not a broadband supplier and our area is mostly already built out. However, if another vendor comes into the area with this money, DCEC may benefit in make-ready work to pole lines
• Electric Vehicle Charging: $7.5B – Funds for alternative fuel corridors and to build out a national network of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to facilitate long-distance travel The takeaway is that the network would most likely start along interstate highways first and any ancillary rebate programs would focus on charging stations with public access, not necessarily for a private charger in your house.
• Clean School Buses & Ferries: $7.5B - $5 billion for the replacement of existing school buses with zero emission and clean school buses, with a priority on low income, rural and Tribal schools. Provides $2.5 billion for the replacement of existing ferries with low carbon ferries and to assist states with operational costs for essential rural ferries. DCEC does not operate school buses or ferries plus state law mandates zero emission for new in-state purchases of cars/atv/power equipment and trucks starting in 2035 and 2045 respectively.
• Water Infrastructure: $55B - Includes $23.4 billion for the bipartisan Drinking Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Act of 2021. Provides $15 billion for lead service line replacement and $10 billion to address PFAS. DCEC is not a water utility with lead pipes.
• Resiliency: $47.2B - Funds cybersecurity to address critical infrastructure needs, waste management, flood and wildfire mitigation, drought, and coastal resiliency, ecosystem restoration, heat stress, and weatherization. There may be some opportunity for weatherization but there is a sense that priority goes to coastal and wildfire areas
• Roads, Bridges, & major projects: $110B - Includes the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act and Surface Transportation Investment Act. Funds new, dedicated grant program to replace and repair bridges and increases funding for the major project competitive grant programs. Preserves the 90/10 split of federal highway aid to states. DCEC may benefit for reimbursement of relocations for bridge and road upgrades
• Passenger and Freight Rail: $66B - Provides funding for the Amtrak National Network for new service and dedicated funding to the Northeast Corridor. Increases funding for freight rail and safety. DCEC is not Amtrak
• Safety: $11B - Funds highway, pipeline safety and pedestrian safety programs. DCEC has no pipelines but may benefit somehow
• Public Transit: $39.2B - Funds nation’s transit system repair backlog, (24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems). Expands transit systems, supports clean transit options, and increases accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities. DCEC is not public transit but the area may benefit
• Ports and Waterways: $16.6B - Funding for waterway and coastal infrastructure, inland waterway improvements, port infrastructure, and land ports of entry. DCEC may benefit with relocation from betterment projects
• Airports: $25B: Funds for Airport Improvement grant program for runways, gates, & taxiways as well as a new Airport Terminal Improvement program for terminals, concessions, and multimodal connections. Improves Air Traffic Control infrastructure. DCEC does not operate an airport but may benefit somehow.
• Reconnecting Communities: $1B – Total of $1 billion between contract authority and new appropriations. Funds for projects that remove barriers to opportunity caused by legacy infrastructure. The program will provide dedicated funding for planning, design, demolition, and reconstruction of street grids, parks, or other infrastructure. DCEC may benefit although language suggests urban areas
• Addressing Legacy Pollution: $21B – Funds to clean up brownfield and superfund sites, reclaim abandoned mine lands, and plug orphan oil and gas wells, improving public health and creating good-paying jobs. These activities do not generally require electric utility infrastructure except for occasional low-usage well monitors.
• Western Water Infrastructure: $8.3B – Funds for Bureau of Reclamation western water infrastructure, including for aging infrastructure, water storage, water recycling and reuse, waterSMART, and drought contingency plans, among other things.
DCEC is situated in the NE and not the West