About AREC


AREC is a collaborative effort by rural community stakeholders and industry representatives from across the country to build sustainable rural communities by maximizing the opportunities and minimizing the challenges presented to them as a result of the development of their regional energy resources. Although hydrocarbons are the predominate energy resource of our current members, communities with wind, solar, coal, nuclear, and geothermal have a place in the organization as they all are being developed in rural America 

Since 2017

Our Story

In the summer of 2017, a group of twenty -eight rural stakeholders from seven states, met in Kansas City, MO to discuss the potential value of establishing a national organization to bring together the experiences, resources, and relationships from all the rural shale regions.  The group included elected county and city officials, chamber of commerce directors, economic development professionals, oil/gas companies, city managers, higher education administrators, healthcare professionals, regional economic development organizations, and regional educational organizations.  The meeting ended with agreement to form an organization called the Rural Shale Stakeholders (RSS).

In early 2018, a similar organization formed in 2012 called America’s Counties for Energy Independence (ACEI), contacted RSS with an offer to merge the two groups.  Unlike RSS, which had membership across a broad spectrum of rural community and industry stakeholders, ACEI was comprised of only elected county officials.  Over the years it had become difficult to maintain cohesion and focus within ACEI as its members were consumed with managing their individual counties in the midst of the growth associated with the development of hydraulic fracturing.

In the summer of 2018, a small group from each organization, RSS and ACEI, met in Omaha, NE and formed a combined organization that became known as America’s Rural Energy Coalition (AREC).  In 2019, AREC got its IRS 501(c) 3 status approved.  A current listing of key AREC members is included with this Business Plan.

Meeting notes from both the 2017 and 2018 meetings are available below.

2017 Meeting Notes

2018 Meeting Notes


Through communications and interactions between individual members, their organizational members, local, state and national political leadership, the membership will build relationships that will facilitate:


  • A free exchange of thoughts, ideas, and encouragement,
  • The dissimilation of lessons learned on successful community and industry programs, approaches, and initiatives related to the energy industry,
  • Heightened the country’s awareness of the critical role rural America plays in the development, transmission, and distribution of our natural energy resources,
  • A strengthening of the partnership between the community and the industry,
  • Support for any and all efforts to an create an energy independent America,
  • The development of a “common cause” between all the rural energy regions when it comes to the development of their resources and the sustainable futures of rural America

Copyright 2021 America's Rural Energy Coalition, Inc.