How We Serve: Government Relations

Tyler Hamman
Tyler Hamman, Basin Electric vice president of Government Relations.

Employees at Basin Electric understand their role as stewards of service to the members of the cooperative. The “How We Serve” series highlights employees and their work group and explains how they serve our members every day. 

Tyler Hamman was promoted to the position of vice president of Government Relations in January 2022. Hamman began his career with Basin Electric in 2017 as a senior legislative representative after several years of working on energy and environmental policy as a congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. and with an energy industry trade association. Hamman serves on the North Dakota EmPower Commission, and is vice chair of the Carbon Utilization Research Council. We had the chance to speak with him about his role and the role of the government relations group, and how together their purpose adds value to Basin Electric and its member owners.  

“The purpose of our group is multi-faceted,” Hamman says. “We work to develop and maintain relationships with elected and appointed officials at the local, state, and federal levels of government, as well as other external stakeholders, and then utilize those relationships to advocate for Basin Electric and the cooperative family to maintain a policy environment that supports Basin Electric’s mission.” 

Day-to-day business includes monitoring legislation and policy proposals, and coming up with strategies to amend or defeat policy that could negatively impact Basin Electric. “In the words of one former president, ‘it is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones!’” Hamman says. Government Relations does not do this alone, as they are actively involved in numerous trade and cooperative associations that help advance the goal of supporting the energy industry and cooperative family. 

The Government Relations group also works to ensure that Basin Electric is recognized for the effort and investment it has put in to provide reliable, affordable electricity while being environmentally responsible, and that new policies provide the flexibility to continue doing so. “Ultimately, we advocate to elected officials to do what is in the best interest of their constituents, who are the Basin Electric members at the end of the line,” Hamman says. 

When it comes to value, providing reliable and affordable electricity is a top priority, but Basin Electric has positioned itself to provide a broad spectrum of services to its membership. Basin Electric continues to make strides in diversifying its generation portfolio and reducing emissions while maintaining that primary objective. “Our value is in being a responsible energy provider while striving to meet all of our member’s needs,” Hamman says. Maintaining a responsible policy environment helps Basin Electric and its members be successful. 

Through his previous work in politics Hamman learned to adopt the view that there are no such thing as challenges, only opportunities for excellence. His role in Government Relations has taught him that Basin Electric has an almost unrivaled network within and outside the cooperative family to leverage any opportunity for excellence that comes its way.  

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