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Organizing for Sustainable Rural Power

RDI Grantee Spotlight: Rural Power Coalition and Advancing Equity and Opportunity Collaborative

As energy providers, engines of economic development, and pathways for community engagement, electric cooperatives are critically important vehicles for building progressive power, as well as sustainability and prosperity, in rural America. Two RDI grantees — the Rural Power Coalition (RPC) and Advancing Equity and Opportunity Collaborative (AEOC) — are building and engaging a network of electric coop member-owners across multiple states to lead the transition to more equitable and sustainable energy and advocate for reinvestment in rural communities.

RPC consists of seven groups working across the country to retire 300 fossil fuel power plants and provide clean energy for 18 million households in rural areas. The Biden Administration’s proposal to eliminate fossil fuels in the power sector within 14 years includes transitioning two-thirds of all electricity sold by electric cooperatives.

Building on the foundation laid by RPC, AEOC formed specifically to work with Black, rural, and historically neglected communities across eleven states in the South. AEOC’s Democratizing Rural Electric Cooperatives Working Group develops leaders, creates electric scorecards to highlight disparities of specific rural coops, and provides technical assistance and access to resources such as the voter engagement database VAN.

To learn more about Rural Electric Cooperatives and the transition to clean energy, see our Rural Policy Action Report

This article was originally published in RDI's 2021 Impact Report.