On July 7, Basin Electric took an historic step by successfully buying out of Rural Utilities Service (RUS).
Official action on this started in May, when directors at their May meeting voted unanimously to refinance all RUS guaranteed Federal Finance Banking debt and go to cooperative banks as well as the private and public markets for all future debt financing.
Steve Johnson, Basin Electric chief financial officer and senior vice president, says proposed upcoming new rules at RUS mean the timeframe for borrowing money is increasingly longer and more uncertain than ever. “Changes are being proposed to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that are the first significant changes since 1977, and the final rule and ultimate implementation are unknown. We are concerned these changes would mean much longer delays in financing construction for generation and large transmission projects,” he says. In addition to the NEPA changes, the future of RUS is in question. Appropriation, organization, strategic direction and staffing are in flux, and the power supply division has been eliminated.
Also, read our reporting on the steps following the May board decision:
May 18: Chief Financial Officer Steve Johnson on decision to buy out of RUS (Video)
June 12: Basin Electric talks RUS buyout with investors during financial roadshow
June 19: Basin Electric raises funds for RUS buyout
June 26: RUS investors tour Basin Electric facilities
July 10: Basin Electric completes RUS buyout