Reforming the Electric Co-ops
KFTC members believe that their rural electric cooperatives can be open and democratic organizations, listening to the concerns of their members who are the owners of the co-ops. The cooperatives can also play important roles in bringing clean energy and good jobs to our local communities. However, these days most of the co-ops are not living up to their own cooperative principals of "Democratic Member Control" and "Education, Training, and Information."
Many of the co-ops do not allow members to attend their board meetings. They also make it extremely difficult for members to run for their boards of directors of the co-op. Some of the co-ops make it hard to get on the ballot in the first place, while also maintaining and undemocratic proxy voting process.
So, as we work to build New Power throughout Kentucky, KFTC members are working to renew and reform their rural electric co-ops. Members are meeting with their board directors, informing them about the changes we are seeking. Members also run for their boards to try to get elected, as well as to bring up the issues of democracy and clean energy to the cooperative membersip. Other groups of members are working to pass a Members' Bill of Rights in their co-ops.
Platform of Co-op Reforms
KFTC work in reforming their co-ops is guided by our Platform of Rural Electric Co-op Reforms. KFTC members came together to develop this document that lays out the changes we seek. From each rural electric co-op in Kentucky, we want affordable energy; clean, renewable energy choices; good local jobs; sound financial decisions; respect for landowners; open and fair elections; open meetings; and open records. The platform includes thirty points for reform, including:
- Voting for any candidate position shall be by postage-paid, mail-in ballot. All proxy voting shall be prohibited.
- Members shall have access to all board meetings, whether they are regular or special meetings, with the exception of executive sessions.
- Minutes of all meetings, and any supporting materials related to the minutes, shall be posted promptly on the co-op's website and made available at the co-op's district offices.
- The co-ops shall prioritize their investments in these clean energy sources rather than contracting to purchase and re-sell energy that is generated in a manner that poses a danger to current and future generations.
- The co-op shall not spend co-op member equity to lobby against state energy efficiency and renewable energy standards, as these standards will lead all utilities to a more diverse energy portfolio and create local, clean energy jobs.