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U.S. Congressman Latta and Rep. Brown address energy issues at Hancock-Wood Electric Co-op Legislative Meeting

NORTH BALTIMORE, OHIOOn March 9, a crowd of nearly 200 attended the Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative’s annual Action Committee for Rural Electrification® (ACRE®) Legislative Meeting at the office headquarters. U.S. Congressman Bob Latta of Ohio’s 5th District and State Representative Tim Brown of House District 3, took turns discussing regulatory issues impacting electric co-ops and their ability to deliver affordable energy. Also in attendance were Wes Fahrbach, district director at U.S. Senator Rob Portman’s office, and Lu Cooke, northwest Ohio regional liaison to Governor John Kasich, along with other elected officials.

Hancock-Wood President and CEO George Walton introduced Congressman Latta, praising him for his support of electric cooperatives in rural Ohio. Walton said, “I can truly say that Congressman Latta is a congressman for the people.”

Latta, who serves the largest farming area in his Ohio district, which also represents 60,000 manufacturing jobs, spoke about the progress in electric service from the past to present day and its impact on his constituents and his own family who also are from northwest Ohio.

He said, “My roots are here. I want to make sure this area thrives.” Latta also mentioned the over reach of government and how that is hurting businesses in Ohio saying, “Regulations are drowning us.”

Latta also pointed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s strict rules crippling coal-powered power plants, stating, “There’s been a war on coal in this country.”

Rep. Brown spoke highly of Hancock-Wood’s economic development efforts and emphasized the significance of sustaining manufacturing in the area. He said, “If we’re going to be successful again, we’ve got to innovate. We’ve got to make things, build things and service them.”

Ohio Electric Cooperative’s Director of Government Affairs Marc Armstrong spoke about how the ACRE political committee directly benefits the co-ops. He said, “We want folks in Columbus and in Washington who understand and support electric cooperatives.”

ACRE is the federal Political Action Committee (PAC) of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Founded in 1966 by the approximately 1,000 member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperatives of NRECA, ACRE supports candidates for the U.S. House and Senate – those in office now and running for office – who will speak for and protect the interests of electric cooperatives and their consumer-owners.

Walton stated, “It is so important for us, as an electric cooperative, to keep pressure on agencies in Washington to protect co-op rights.”

Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, established April 20, 1938, serves portions of Hancock, Wood, Allen, Erie, Hardin, Henry, Putnam, Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot counties. Throughout the cooperative’s history, HWE has supported local causes through charitable contributions, volunteerism and other activities to make a positive impact on quality of life within the communities it serves.

For more information about Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative, visit or call 800-445-4840.

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