July/August CEO’s Column in Louisiana Country and Along These Lines
By: Addie Armato, ALEC CEO
“Alone we are strong, together we are stronger.” – Author Unknown
I have seen time and time again your Louisiana electric cooperatives face unimaginable challenges, but never have they met those challenges alone. When a storm strikes our coastline, thousands of utility workers from cooperatives nationwide come to our aid. With supply chain shortages, cooperative employees pick up the phone and dial a sister cooperative seeking assistance to help to solve those low inventory issues. When call centers are inundated with high call volumes due to outages, sister cooperatives will have calls re-routed to them to help answer those consumer-member phone calls and inquiries.
We never have to face those daunting challenges alone. The same is true as your Louisiana electric cooperatives work to solve bigger issues. Hot-button topics like affordability and reliability, FEMA reimbursements, the Farm Bill/USDA funding, increasing production to solve supply chain shortages, and streamlining the permitting processes to make new construction and resiliency projects more cost-effective have been at the forefront of electric cooperative representatives’ minds.
This spring, cooperative leaders traveled to Washington, DC, to discuss national issues that affect you, the consumer member. They spoke to Congress, urging them to prioritize reliability and affordability. These leaders met with our entire Congressional delegation and industry leaders because they understand how important it is to you that the lights stay on when you flip the switch.
Your electric cooperative leaders also spent the day at the Capitol in Baton Rouge talking to local legislators, public service commissioners, and elected officials about the impacts cooperatives make in your local communities. We spent the entire day in the halls of the Capitol, educating policymakers on why electric cooperatives are different from investor-owned utilities and why we are essential to the communities we love and call home.
I want to thank all our elected officials who listened to our Louisiana electric cooperatives. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for your letters of support. Thank you for fighting for our great state’s citizens.
I also want to thank our Louisiana electric cooperative leaders. Your voices were resounding. Your presence was influential. Your convictions were stouthearted. Thank you for caring about our consumer members.
Throughout the spring, I watched your cooperative leaders work together. They moved through the halls of Congress and our Capitol buildings as one. They spoke as one. They realized the issues affecting your cooperative back home are the same challenges all our Louisiana electric cooperatives face. But, most importantly, they learned even though your electric cooperative is strong, as a state, we are stronger together. Your Louisiana electric cooperatives are one family, one voice…powering Louisiana!