Fighting for Rural Families in Maine
Congressman Poliquin introduces bipartisan bill to improve rural families’ access to electricity
WASHINGTON – Maine’s Second District Congressman, Bruce Poliquin, has introduced the Improving Rural Access to Power Act, a bipartisan bill to support electricity infrastructure development in Maine’s rural areas and communities. Congressman Poliquin released the following statement:
“Maine’s rural families and businesses deserve the most reliable access to electricity and other needed resources possible,” said Congressman Poliquin. “Our communities from the County to Downeast Maine should have ready and dependable electricity available to them when they need it. This is especially important for our seniors and those that require assured access to power.
“The Improving Rural Access to Power Act will make it easier for rural electric cooperatives, the major electricity suppliers for underserved areas, to access the capital they need to properly service communities and local business in more isolated regions, like the hundreds of towns on our State’s Atlantic coastline, making up more than 25,000 users. Specifically, this bill will help ensure that thousands of households in four different counties in Maine—Aroostook, Hancock, Washington and Penobscot—can fully depend on their electricity provider, which is absolutely vital given the severe and often unpredictable weather conditions we experience.”
This legislation will allow the Federal Home Loan Banks (FHLB’s) to invest in the electricity supplier market to help ensure that rural electric cooperatives can access the capital needed to properly service rural areas. Current law restricts the FHLB’s authority to invest. The Improving Rural Access to Power Act ensures that rural electric cooperatives can properly serve their communities by expanding access to capital and allowing for an increased ability to improve service reliability and transmission.
Congressman Poliquin introduced the bill with bipartisan support from Democratic Congressman David Scott (GA-13), the lead cosponsor, who serves on the House Financial Services Committee with Poliquin.