Co-op News

Electric Co-ops Honor Murkowski

By Steven Johnson | ECT Staff Writer Published: August 30th, 2013

Sen. Lisa Murkowski has received the NRECA Distinguished Service Award for her longstanding support of electric cooperatives.

NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson (l), Meera Kohler (r), president and CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, and Marilyn Leland of the Alaska Power Association (second from right) flank Sen. Lisa Murkowski. (Photo By: APA)

NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson (l), Meera Kohler (r), president and CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative, and Marilyn Leland of the Alaska Power Association (second from right) flank Sen. Lisa Murkowski. (Photo By: APA)

“Sen. Murkowski is a true friend of electric cooperatives and a leader on energy issues. Her bipartisan approach to solving some of our country’s most difficult problems offers a bright spot in our nation’s capital while her steadfast focus on Alaska and its economy suggest a model to follow for public servants,” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson.

Meera Kohler, president and CEO of Alaska Village Electric Cooperative and NRECA Director from Alaska, and Marilyn Leland, executive director of the Alaska Power Association, nominated Murkowski for the award.

They presented it to her at an Aug. 29 ceremony in Anchorage, following an address by Emerson.

Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, was appointed to the Senate in 2002 and won re-election in 2004 and 2010.

“Sen. Murkowski’s record on the environment is significant and she has been one of the strongest voices probing the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s aggressive air regulations on electric grid reliability,” Kohler said.

“Throughout her nearly 20 years of public service, Sen. Murkowski has worked hard for our state and country, and she always brings a common sense approach to energy and electricity issues,” Leland said. “She understands the value of reliable, affordable electric power and the need for a carefully balanced approach to regulation.”

In addition to her work on energy, Murkowski cosponsored legislation this summer to provide rural electric co-ops with more flexibility in offering pension benefit plans.

The NRECA Board confers its Distinguished Service Award on an outstanding national leader whose history of support for rural electrification and public power merits special recognition.

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