Arlington, VA, June 26, 2013 — Rep. Doc Hastings, Chairman of the Committee on Natural Resources (R-WA) received the Distinguished Service Award of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) today.
The NRECA Board of Directors confers its Distinguished Service Award on an outstanding national leader whose history of support for rural electrification and public power merits special recognition. Hastings was honored during the NRECA’s Summer Board Meeting. The Presentation was made by NRECA Board Chairman Curtis Nolan in front of representatives of the 47 states served by electric cooperatives.
Hastings was recognized for his stalwart support of the preference power concept, articulate defense of the Power Marketing Administrations and sponsorship of legislation affecting electric cooperative consumers and rural America.
“Cooperative electrification had no better friend on Capitol Hill than Doc Hastings,” said Nolan. “A vast legislative record demonstrates his preference for issues of substance and depth rather than those of political expedience.”
The Distinguished Service Award also recognized his ten terms as Washington’s 4th District Representative to Congress and his leadership as Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
Steve Walter, Manager of Tanner Electric Cooperative in North Bend, WA and NRECA Board Member observed, “Doc’s been a great friend, and we could use more leaders like him in Congress”
In 2012 Chairman Hastings held the first Congressional hearing to question then-Energy Secretary Steven Chu Memorandum to radically change the Power Marketing Administrations and redesign their rate schedule. The stakes were huge—more than 600 co-ops purchase power from the PMAs—and Hastings warned the makeover could adversely affect electricity prices for 40 million consumers.
“The secretary needs to scrap this effort, start over and work with all involved in forming a policy based on need and transparency,” Hastings said.
It was an important stand on behalf of co-ops and consumers and a reminder of the Chairman’s longstanding support for electric cooperatives and their consumer-members.
“Doc does an outstanding job looking out for all Washingtonians,” said Kent Lopez, General Manager of the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association. He brings a common sense approach to every issue in his role as chairman of the US House Committee on Natural Resources.”
Hastings was born in Spokane, Washington. He served in the United States Army Reserve from 1964 to 1969 and studied business administration at Columbia Basin College and Central Washington College. His public service began as a member of the Washington State House of Representatives in 1979 and has spanned nearly three decades.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states