WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) introduced legislation to help provide stable energy rates and a reliable energy grid to states in the Southwestern Power Administration (SWPA), including Kansas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
The Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act would give the SWPA the authority to operate on a self-funding, revolving Treasury fund to help provide long-term stability to SWPA. This would give the SWPA more stable funding in order to lower customer rates, which can be highly volatile due to market demand and weather. Furthermore, this legislation would provide SWPA more clarity to help plan long-term infrastructure improvements and power replacement. This bill will also allow SWPA to avoid drastic and unnecessary spikes in power rates charged to its wholesale customers in an extreme or multi-year regional drought situation.
“It is critical that Kansans have access to reliable electricity at stable rates, especially during extreme and dangerous weather,” said Sen. Moran. “This legislation will provide funding stability that will allow energy providers to make needed infrastructure improvements and prevent Kansans from suffering mass power outages.”
“At a time of economic uncertainty and skyrocketing inflation, I am proud to work with Senator Moran on legislation that will drive down energy rates for consumers,” said Sen. Marshall. “Kansans depend on reliable and affordable power, especially our Ag producers, who are already facing worsening drought conditions across the state. This bill will help provide certainty by delivering stable and affordable power to consumers while improving our power grid infrastructure.”
The Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act is supported by the Kansas Electric Cooperatives Inc., Kansas Municipal Utilities, Southwestern Power Resources Association, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and American Public Power Association.
“Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. and its member co-ops have strongly supported the Southwestern Power Fund Establishment Act for its ability to provide appropriated dollars that will improve grid reliability while helping to stabilize rates. We thank our home state Sens. Moran and Marshall for bringing forward legislation that will have a positive impact on our rural electric cooperatives and their consumer-members.” — Lee Tafanelli, CEO, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.
“Federal hydropower is a reliably renewable generation resource. This legislation recognizes the value of protecting that resource throughout the six-state region, making sure that these important assets are maintained. This legislation would go a long way toward ensuring grid reliability and affordably throughout the region for millions of homes, farms and small businesses. I thank Sens. Moran and Marshall for introducing this important bill that represents good business sense.” — Nicki Fuller, Executive Director, Southwestern Power Resources Association
“NRECA supports the Southwestern Power Administration Fund Establishment Act. The self-financed revolving loan fund authorized by this bill would allow the Southwestern Power Administration to better manage infrastructure needs while being more responsive to market conditions and electric demands created by extreme weather events.” — National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
“The American Public Power Association applauds the introduction of the Southwestern Power Fund Establishment Act. Since 1943, not-for-profit public power utilities and rural electric cooperatives have successfully partnered with the Southwestern Power Administration (SWP) to bring reliable hydropower produced at Army Corps dams to millions of customers in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. While SWPA customers pay all costs of generating and transmitting the electricity in their power rates, a complicated funding process has increasingly failed to provide the financial certainty necessary to steady power rates to customers during drought and extreme weather events. The Southwestern Power Fund Establishment Act would streamline this process in a manner that would help avoid rate spikes and economic hardship for communities served by public power utilities and rural electric cooperatives while continuing to ensure that SWPA customers pay all costs associated with generating and transmitting hydropower produced at Corps dams. It is a win-win for the federal government and communities served by not-for-profit electric utilities.” — American Public Power Association
Full text of the legislation can be found HERE.