Big Bend Electric Cooperative supports the authority of locally elected boards from the service area of the cooperative to govern, regulate and administer the functions of their cooperative.
One of the key principles of consumer-owned electric cooperatives is the advantage of local control. Electric cooperatives are governed, regulated and administered by local boards elected from the service area of the cooperative. Locally elected officials are responsible for the proper functions of their cooperative and are directly accountable to the ratepayers. The local public accountability for electric cooperatives has always existed.
Since electric cooperatives are consumer-owned, there is no conflict between shareholders and customers requiring governmental economic regulation. Through the efforts of local control, electric cooperatives in the Pacific Northwest have established themselves as leaders in providing equitable retail rates and in developing conservation programs and power supply portfolios to meet the needs of their consumers.
Legislative or regulatory initiatives that interfere with the cooperative principle of local control (such as mandates for rate design, conservation standards, renewable energy portfolios, or distributed generation interconnection) could increase rates, degrade reliability, degrade safety, conflict with power supply or other contractual relationships, or impose other undue economic costs on electric cooperatives.
Big Bend Electric Cooperative is strongly opposed to any effort, nationally, regionally or by states that would change the regulation of electric cooperatives from traditional and historical local control including efforts to subject electric cooperatives to the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.