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American Public Power Association CEO discusses infrastructure hopes

Infrastructure negotiations are ongoing in Washington D.C.

American Public Power Association President and CEO Joy Ditto says the association would like to see tax-exempt financing improvements in an infrastructure deal.

“Increasing the small-issuer exception threshold from $10 million to $30 million would roughly double the number of smaller utilities that could borrow directly from banks to finance capital investments,” she says. “This reduces the cost of borrowing and could give some smaller borrowers access to capital.”

She tells Brownfield Biden’s budget includes an increase in funding for USDA’s Rural Utilities Service to help rural communities transition to newer technologies.  

“We’re very concerned that these type of communities might be stranded when it comes to moving into the utility of the future and addressing climate change,” she says. “We’re watching this space closely and would love to see some funding for that type of transition.”

Ditto says there is bipartisan support for funding rural broadband.

“Rural electric utilities often provide broadband service given the lack of others interested in doing that in rural communities, so we’re very interested in and supportive of that,” she says.

She says it’s unclear how these items will be resolved in infrastructure talks because there are a lot of other moving parts.

APPA is the national service organization representing the interests of the 2,000 publicly owned, not-for-profit electric utilities that collectively provide cost-based electricity to 49 million Americans in 49 states.

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