President Joe Biden spoke by video to thousands of electric cooperative leaders gathered in Nashville for the final day of NRECA’s PowerXchange on March 8. The president’s remarks briefly outlined the path forward for two significant policy wins secured by co-ops last year—direct access to energy tax credits for co-ops and the creation of a $9.7 billion program for the co-op energy transition.

Biden announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin accepting applications for funding from the $9.7 billion program in the spring.

“Rural co-ops like yours electrify America. Now we’re making the biggest investment in rural co-ops since the New Deal,” Biden said. “Your communities are the backbone of the country. Investing in them is critical to our entire nation’s prosperity and security. Millions of Americans rely on you every single day. We owe you and we thank you.”

NRECA CEO Jim Matheson introduced the president’s remarks.

“The electric co-op focus on people, not profits, makes us unique,” Matheson said. “We’re seen as trusted leaders by both political parties. That reputation is essential as we work together to secure important policy wins for electric co-ops and the communities we serve.”

Watch the video below: