For more information on Along Those Lines and to access the most recent episodes, view our main podcast page. Below, listen to episodes from podcast's first season.
Oct. 1, 2018: From the farmer at the end of the rural road to the commuters traveling the interstates to and from the suburbs, every electric cooperative consumer-member has a vote on Election Day. In the debut episode of NRECA’s Along Those Lines podcast, NRECA CEO Jim Matheson reinforces the value of each one of those votes.
Nov. 8, 2018: For electric co-ops, the chance to play a role in bridging the digital divide brings a major opportunity to have lasting impacts on their communities. We're joined by two rural broadband experts, Mike Keyser, CEO of BARC Electric Cooperative, and Brian O'Hara, regulatory issues director for NRECA's government relations team, to talk about the key issues co-ops face in pursuing broadband projects.
Dec. 11, 2018: Changes in the rural population over recent decades have left many Main Streets across America looking like ghost towns. What factors can help reverse that trend in the coming years? We’re joined by NRECA’s Jeffrey Connor, Zack Mannheimer, a proponent of “creative placemaking,” and Midland Power Cooperative’s Norm Fandel to discuss community development and revitalizing small towns.
Jan. 15, 2019: With a new year and a new Congress, what will emerge as key policy issues for co-ops in 2019? We're joined by Kirk Johnson and John Cassady of NRECA's government relations department to discuss how the association works with members of Congress and their staffs to represent co-op interests, and what to expect on issues ranging from infrastructure to distributed energy resources.
Feb. 12, 2019: What is the evolving grid—and what does it mean for how we'll consume electricity in the future? We're joined by three experts to zero in on how electric co-ops are leading this trend: NRECA's Jim Spiers, Patty Richards from Washington Electric Cooperative in Vermont, and Lee Ragsdale from North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives.
March 15, 2019: As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we take you behind the scenes with a woman who’s making her way in a male-dominated industry. Hear the story of Kaitlyn Vaillancourt, a 21-year-old apprentice lineworker at Pedernales Electric Cooperative near Austin, Texas—the only woman among the co-op’s 200 lineworkers.
April 16, 2019: As we spend April honoring lineworkers, it’s time to zero in on safety and what it takes to ensure that crews don’t come into contact with live lines. Heath Martin, a co-op safety director, shares the harrowing story of a mistake early in his career as a lineworker that could have cost him his life. We’re also joined by safety experts from NRECA and Federated Rural Electric Insurance Exchange.
May 14, 2019: The monarch butterfly is in trouble, with its numbers in decline for the last few decades, its habitat rapidly disappearing, and an Endangered Species Act listing on the horizon. We’re joined by NRECA’s Janelle Lemen and Stephanie Crawford along with Dairyland Power Cooperative’s Brad Foss to discuss the challenges the monarch faces and the steps co-ops are taking to save this iconic species.
June 14, 2019: NRECA President Curtis Wynn first entered the electric cooperative world as a teenager. Now, he’s charged with leading co-ops across the country through the challenges of a changing industry. Hear from Wynn on everything from his early career track—where his passion for community development came into focus—to his plans for helping co-ops navigate new consumer expectations and grid modernization.
July 18, 2019: If you work in the energy industry or follow its developments, you’re probably familiar with the term “beneficial electrification.” But do you really understand what it means? Get the full rundown from NRECA’s Keith Dennis, Jeff Haase of Great River Energy in Minnesota and Sam Adair of Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative in Illinois.
This episode is sponsored by Sensus, a Xylem brand.
Aug. 20, 2019: With access to health care diminishing in many of the country’s rural areas, hear from three co-op leaders who are prioritizing programs to get critical care to members of their communities: David Lambert of Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative, Shawn Taylor of the Wyoming Rural Electric Association and Geoff Oldfather of Arizona G&T Cooperatives.
Sept. 10, 2019: An unintended consequence of the 2017 federal tax law is threatening electric co-ops’ tax-exempt status. NRECA’s Louis Finkel explains why it’s vital for Congress to pass the RURAL Act to fix this issue, and two co-op leaders discuss the impact of the tax dilemma firsthand: Tim Johnson of Otsego Electric Cooperative in New York and Scott Reimer of Federated Electric Cooperative in Minnesota.
This episode is sponsored by CoBank.