Summertime, and the livin’ is…

August 2, 3:02 pm

Well, not easy, but a bit less hectic, at least here in Washington. As Congress glides into its August recess, people take their last-ditch summer vacations, and the traffic eases up a bit as a result. I’m taking some time off this month to recharge and spend time with my family. Hopefully, all of you get a chance to do the same.

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UTC members from Nebraska Public Power District: Immediate Past Chairman Matt Schnell and Region 6 Treasurer Matt Holthe talk with Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-N.E.)

In my last blog, I mentioned that our board was in town the week of July 17, and during that week spent a day in meetings on Capitol Hill and at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to inform policy makers on the impacts of their decisions on utility operations. I’m happy to report that those meetings went exceedingly well – we had about 20 meetings in all with Members of Congress and their staff on key committees in both the House and Senate as well as with FCC staff. In an almost miraculous feat, not one of them canceled on us – a testament to the relationships held by our outside lobbyists, Corry Marshall and Donn Salvosa.

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UTC Chairwoman Kathy Nelson, Great River Energy and UTC members with Staff of Senator John Thune (R-S.D.)

 

At the end of the long day of meetings in pretty typically muggy D.C. summer weather, we all segued to dinner at the Hotel George where we were joined by the Vice Presidents of Government Relations from the Edison Electric Institute (representing investor-owned utilities) and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (representing rural electric cooperatives). Folks from the American Public Power Association had a fly-in of their own that week so couldn’t join us, but were there in spirit. It was a great night and a great reminder of our common goal, across the sector, of enabling utilities to support reliable and resilient service through their information and communications technologies.

The bottom line is, advocacy days like this serve to remind Members of Congress of the impacts the federal government’s decisions have on critical infrastructure providers. The work continues after the day is over as we follow up with additional data and context to bolster our arguments and to build on the relationships we have developed. Until we meet again, as the summer livin’ wanes…