By Victoria A. Rocha | ECT Staff Writer
An electric cooperative in Utah took to the skies recently to enlist public support for a common sense solution that balances energy needs and environmental concerns.
Dixie Power used its annual kite festival in St. George to collect more than 2,000 signatures for Action.coop, NRECA’s grassroots advocacy campaign under way at co-ops across the country.
“We went from virtually nothing to 2,000 signatures in one day,” said Jenkins, who noted that before the April 12 festival, Utah’s co-ops had delivered only a few hundred signed cards to the EPA all year.
The festival, which typically attracts about 20,000, was an all-hands-on-deck event. Directors, co-op CEO LaDel Laub and employees—including lineworkers—engaged directly with the crowd at the Action.coop tent.
“Bringing the ‘all-of-the-above’ campaign to the community through a popular festival is a great way to build a connection and let people know that the co-op is always working on their behalf,” said Laura Marshall Schepis, NRECA’s vice president of political affairs.
Dixie Power’s involvement in Action.coop doesn’t end there. It has set an ambitious goal of sending 25,000 signatures to the EPA by June 1 and is helping the state’s five other co-ops issue their own calls to action.
Grassroots tools include a seven-minute YouTube video produced by Dixie Power just in time for Utah co-ops’ annual meeting season and a stop sign decal for bucket trucks.
Affordable electricity is not just a pocketbook issue but it’s a credibility issue, too, said Jenkins. “We have a good reputation around here by keeping rates affordable, and we’re working in good faith and asking the EPA to have an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach.”