Subcommittee Reviews Electricity Reliability in Rural Areas

Jul 30, 2008

WASHINGTON – Today, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy, and Research held a hearing to review the reliability of electricity in rural America.  Congressman Tim Holden of Pennsylvania is Chairman of the Subcommittee.

“Our energy demands are at a critical point, and we must explore every opportunity to develop a strong, reliable infrastructure including electric power generation, transmission, and distribution,” said Chairman Holden. “With the growing demand for power it is time to find solutions that will best serve our national needs and make economic sense.”

“Maintaining reliable and affordable electricity in our rural areas must remain a focus for this committee,” said Ranking Republican Frank Lucas of Oklahoma.  “Expansion of traditional forms of energy, such as oil, coal, and natural gas must be pursued alongside development of alternative and renewable sources.”

The Subcommittee heard testimony from two panels of witnesses comprised of representatives from government and industry stakeholders.  Witnesses discussed reliability issues, renewable energy access to the grid, generation and capacity needs, and the regulatory structure that governs the industry.  

A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.


Panel I

  •     Administrator Jim Andrew, Rural Development Electric Programs, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
  •     Ms. Cynthia A. Marlette, General Counsel, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Washington, D.C.

Panel II

  •     The Honorable Glenn English, CEO, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Arlington, Virginia
  •     Mr. Revis James, Director, Energy Technology Assessment Center, Electric Power Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
  •     The Honorable Jim Nichols , former Minnesota Secretary of Agriculture, and former Minnesota State Senator, Lake Benton, Minnesota
  •     Mr. Paul T. Champagne, President, PPL Development Company, Allentown, Pennsylvania