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a publication centered on life in Mississippi.
Today is June 25, 2019


Electric cooperatives are all about Mississippi

By Michael Callahan

Michael Callahan
Michael Callahan,
Executive Vice President/CEO
EPAs of Mississippi

It seems 2018 is getting off to a rocky start, weather wise. Much of Mississippi experienced record low temperatures in January, and in some places the daytime temperatures stayed below freezing for several days in a row.

In Jackson (and other US cities), the deep freeze crippled the city’s water system by causing more than 100 water-main breaks. Crews worked long shifts in freezing weather—sometimes knee-deep in water—to repair the breaks and restore service.

Electric cooperative linemen can relate to this kind of hardship. Any lineman who has been on the job a while has probably rebuilt storm-damaged power lines in terrible weather—and in the dark.

Thankfully, January’s extreme winter weather brought us no major ice problems, and thus no widespread power outages for electric cooperative members in Mississippi. I hope that luck holds through the winter.

Whatever the weather brings, know that your electric cooperative is prepared to respond to service issues at any time of day or night. If you are a long-time reader of this publication, you’ve seen ample evidence of just how hard our linemen work to keep your lights on.

In fact, all employees of your electric cooperative take pride in the high level of service they offer. They’re not strangers sitting at desks in some far-off corporate skyscraper; they live and work in your neck of the woods. It may sound trite, but they really do care about the well-being of the electric cooperative members they work for.

To put it another way, your electric cooperative is a great example of the “buy local” concept. It is:

• locally owned by the people it serves,

• governed by a board composed of (and elected by) the people it serves, and

• headquartered in the part of the state it serves.

You can’t get more local than that.

With the unfolding of the 2018 session of the Mississippi Legislature, we are seeing some new faces around the state Capitol as first-term state senators and representatives learn the ropes of the big ship known as state government.

One of our responsibilities as your electricity provider is to protect the integrity of your service. Our mission, as not-for-profit cooperatives, centers on keeping your service safe, reliable and efficient—all at the lowest cost possible.

We achieve this mission in part by working closely with state elected officials to ensure proposed legislation won’t cause any problems with your electric service.

Long-serving legislators are familiar with the goals and workings of Mississippi’s 26 electric cooperatives. We also work to inform first-term lawmakers, who may not be familiar with the electric cooperative form of utility.

No legislator wants do anything that may cause you to pay more for electricity. We help prevent that from happening by pointing out any potentially harmful consequences a proposed bill may have on your electric service. Electric cooperatives have a long history of serving as your legislative watchdog.

Learn more about current state and federal elected officials, including biographical and contact information, in the Electric Cooperatives of Mississippi Legislative Roster. The roster also lists the latest committee assignments for state legislators.

View our roster online at Click on Government Relations and then Legislative Roster. No login is required. The roster is also available as a free app for your mobile device. Search for “Mississippi Legislative Roster” in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

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