EPA rules would hurt cooperatives

Published 10:04 pm Friday, June 13, 2014

To the editor:

Since 1938, Community Electric Cooperative members have counted on safe, reliable and affordable energy to power our communities, promote jobs and economic growth and keep costs in line for the basic necessities in our family budgets.

The EPA has recently proposed additional regulations that go further than the Clean Air Act allows by taking an “outside-the-fence” approach to setting the emissions reduction requirements that states must accomplish.

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On June 2, the EPA unveiled a rule to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from fossil-fuel based generation by 30 percent (when compared to 2005 levels) by the year 2030. The rule is expected to be finalized next summer, with compliance required between 2020 and 2030.

CEC is naturally concerned that these unnecessary regulations will increase electricity prices and force power plant shutdowns, inevitably reducing power supply, which would harm the economy and jobs of hard-working cooperative members and threaten energy reliability.

CEC serves areas most sensitive to, and least able to afford, increases in the cost of energy. We also require independence and flexibility to choose solutions based on the needs of the communities we serve, which thoughtfully balance considerations of safety, affordability, reliability and environmental responsibility.

At the request of a large portion of Congress, cooperative members, and other stakeholders, the agency will allow 120 days for public comment to facilitate thorough analysis of the regulation’s impact on consumers, rather than the usual 60 days.

We remain laser-focused on the safety, affordability and reliability of the electricity that powers our communities. Please join us in continuing to monitor EPA actions and proposals, and help defend our cooperative’s right to provide our invaluable services to the community.

You may voice your concerns as part of the 120-day EPA public comment process by signing the petition at www.tellepa.com.

Steven A. Harmon

President and CEO

Community Electric Cooperative