Tester introduces bill to give rural electric cooperatives more flexibility

Senator working to connect local energy producers to markets, strengthen economy

(BIG SANDY, Mont.) – Senator Jon Tester is helping Montana’s rural communities develop local energy resources and distribute electricity to market.

Tester has introduced the Clean Transmission for Rural Communities Act so that Montana’s rural electric co-ops will have more choices when it comes to using their bonds to produce renewable electricity.

Tester’s bill expands the technologies eligible for bonds from local governments and rural electric cooperatives, including the construction of small transmission lines to connect to high-voltage lines.

Tester says his bill will encourage more local renewable energy development by providing rural electric cooperatives an avenue to sell excess energy to cities and towns.

“Offering rural electric co-ops more flexibility in energy distribution will encourage more local energy production,” Tester said.  “We should be finding ways to empower rural communities and helping them meet their energy needs.  My plan is a common-sense way to get this done.”

Tester added that connecting to transmission lines will grow rural communities’ economies and create new jobs.

Tester is a leading advocate for responsible development of Montana’s traditional and renewable energy sources.

Tester’s bill is available online HERE.