Press Releases

Representatives David Scott and Denver Riggleman Introduce Bipartisan Bill Improving Rural Families’ Access to Electricity

Today Congressman David Scott, joined by Congressman Denver Riggleman (R-VA-5), introduced H.R. 2391, the “Improving Rural Access to Power Act of 2019.”  This important legislation would make it easier for rural electric cooperatives, which are major electricity suppliers for rural areas, to access the capital necessary to serve their communities, families, and businesses.

H.R. 2391, the “Improving Rural Access to Power Act of 2019,” will allow the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLBs) to voluntarily purchase securities issued by a qualified cooperative lender and provide additional funding diversity to help ensure that rural electric cooperatives have access to critical capital resources. 

“Rural communities in my District, the State of Georgia and all across the country rely on safe and reliable energy resources to power their daily lives,” said Congressman Scott.  “From small businesses and schools to farms and community centers, these electric cooperatives play a vital role in improving energy access and infrastructure.”

“I am proud to have worked with my colleague Rep. David Scott (D-GA) to introduce H.R. 2391, the Improving Rural Access to Power of 2019,” said Congressman Riggleman. “This bill will provide a clear and easy path to inject capital into rural areas.  By sourcing capital and investments to these communities we will help fund critical broadband infrastructure, create economic development, and improve the living standards for millions of Americans.” 

America’s electric cooperatives serve more than 42 million people across 88% of U.S. counties in 47 states.  While continuing to meet energy demand and supporting more than 600,000 American jobs, cooperatives have increased their renewable energy capacity by over 145% since 2010 through a mix of renewable energy resources and emission-reducing techniques. 

The purchase of securities from a rural utility financing cooperative is currently not explicitly allowed or disallowed for FHLBs.  Allowing Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB) to purchase securities from a cooperative lender would strengthen the capital base for rural utilities by providing additional funding opportunities.