The Action Committee for Rural Electrification (ACRE®) is the grassroots political action committee of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. ACRE represents the interests of the nation’s nearly 930 nonprofit electric cooperative systems and their 42 million consumers in rural, suburban and urban areas.
ACRE was organized to support only federal candidates – those in Congress now and running for Congress – who will speak for and protect the interests of electric cooperatives and their consumers. ACRE is bipartisan and its contributions are based on a candidate’s record of support for rural electrification, not on his/her political affiliation. The process by which candidates are chosen to receive support from ACRE is rigorous, requiring the approval of state ACRE committees, NRECA’s ACRE staff and electric co-op state association CEOs.
The PAC is comprised of more than 35,000 individual contributions from electric cooperative directors, managers, employees, and consumers nationwide. The average contribution to ACRE is $44 per year. Acre is truly a grassroots PAC and is a reflection of our membership.
ACRE is a true grassroots program, made up of activists who understand that political involvement is a necessary ingredient for success in the political process.
ACRE supports congressional candidates, regardless of party, who share public policy goals that are consistent with the mission of member-owned electric cooperatives. Also, half of the contributions to ACRE are returned to the statewide associations for use in state elections.
While ACRE supports candidates for the United States House and Senate, it does not contribute to presidential campaigns.
The ACRE contribution cycle runs from January 1 and ends on December 31.
All PAC contributions, including ACRE’s monthly disclosure report, are available from the Federal Election Commission’s website at www.fec.gov.
ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action
In 2003, NRECA launched ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action, to involve co-op consumer-owners in ACRE.
As you have heard many times before, having a business plan is essential for the day-to-day operations of how a cooperative does business. Having a political plan is just as important. Part of that political plan is support of ACRE®. Opening new fields of opportunity, ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action® for consumer-owners unleashes a more powerful voice for electric cooperatives.
ACRE contributions to members of Congress are backed by over 30,000 individuals making an average contribution of $44, making it a truly grassroots political action committee. With the participation of consumer-owners through ACRE Co-op Owners for Political Action, those 30,000 individuals could grow into more than 100,000 ACRE members. The effect of the electric cooperative community supporting our friends on Capitol Hill would certainly be strong.
NRECA Chief Executive Officer Glenn English sees this program as a new opportunity for electric cooperative consumers to become more involved in the political process and supportive of the cooperative they own. Their participation in ACRE Co-op Owners is the next logical step in ensuring that the voice of rural electrification remains loud and clear in helping shape the electric cooperative agenda. Along with a strong grassroots network, Co-op Owners is another tool that is essential to the cooperative business model.