How the Electric Co-op Movement Energized the Lone Star State

978-1-64843-156-2 Cloth
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
232 pp. 18 b&w photos. Bib. Index.
Pub Date: 01/30/2024


  • Cloth $35.00
According to author Joe Holley, the story of the Texas Electric Cooperatives, a collective of some 76 member-owned electric providers throughout the state, is a story of neighborliness and community, grit and determination, and persuasion and political savvy. It’s the story of a grassroots movement that not only energized rural Texas but also showed residents the power they have when they band together to find strength in unity.
Opening with the coming of electricity to Texas’ major cities at the turn of the twentieth century, Power: How the Electric Co-op Movement Energized the Lone Star State describes the dramatic differences between urban and rural life. Though the major cities of Texas were marvels of nighttime brilliance, the countryside remained as dark as it had been for centuries before. It was not economical for the startup electrical companies to provide service to far-flung rural areas, so they were forced to do without.
Beginning with the New Deal–era efforts of Sam Rayburn, Lyndon Johnson, and others, Holley chronicles the birth and development of the electric cooperative movement in Texas, including the 1935 federal act that created the Rural Electrification Administration. Holley concludes with the devastation wrought by Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 and the intense debate that continues around climate resilience and the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), overseer of the state’s electric grid, all of which has profound implications for rural electric cooperatives who receive their allocations according to procedures administered by ERCOT. Power is sure to enlighten, entertain, and energize readers and policymakers alike.

The Texas Experience, Books made possible by Sarah '84 and Mark '77 Philpy

Published by Texas A&M University Press