Electric Co-ops- Mixed Blessings

Electric co-ops have an important presence across the US.  On the one hand, they maintain a significant awareness of the basic and essential alternative business method consistent with the advantages of democracy.  However, they have also developed in conjunction with a particular format and technology that is associated with an politically conservative policy.

     For example, a 2009 leglislation reveals their adherence to fossil fuel technologies, and the conventional economic accounting that doubts the cost advantages of renewables.

http://www.nreca.org/PublicPolicy/issuespotlight/20091103_SenatorBoxer.htm

    The electric co-ops also lobbied and gained an exemption from restrictions on certain kinds of derivatives contracts.  I don't want to judge prematurely, but certainly think that this kind of arrangement deserves more specificity.  The abuse of high risk derivatives has simply been too irresponsible.

http://bennelson.senate.gov/press/press_releases/052010-01.cfm

 

      By contrast, the historical development of renewables, particularly in Denmark, followed by Germany, with other successful examples in Holland and England, demonstrates the effective efforts of co-operative enterprise.  Paul Gipe has done some good writing on the subject

 

http://www.wind-works.org/articles/Euro96TripReport.html