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Vol. 65 Number 1


News orthwestern Electric November 2013 Co-ops fight for all-of-the-above energy strategy I


n our August issue of Northwestern Electric News, we published an article—All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy Needed—on how the climate- change plan will harm rural America. In September, the Obama Administra- tion officially abandoned an all-of- the-above energy strategy for a new, all-but-one approach that effectively removes coal from the nation’s fuel mix in the future. Electric coopera- tives across the U.S. are disappointed, but not surprised. The policy, proposed by the Envi- ronmental Protection Agency (EPA), sets stringent limits on carbon dioxide emissions from future coal or natu- ral gas plants. Trouble is, the new standards are impossible to meet with existing technology.


For several years cooperatives have tested carbon capture and storage (CCS) as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Unfortunately, the technology doesn’t make financial sense. It has never been used at a commercial scale at a power plant over a prolonged period to demonstrate its viability or cost. In a 2012 Congres- sional Budget Office report, engineers estimate it would increase the cost of producing electricity from coal-based plants by 75 percent. The Administration’s switch to an all-but-one energy approach would limit Americans’ access to a plentiful and affordable resource. I don’t think we should gamble with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation’s economy.


Say “Thank You” to a Vet I


n honor of Veteran’s Day, we would like to recognize and thank our cur- rent employees and directors who have served in the armed forces. The next time you see these employees and directors, please take a moment to thank them for their willingness to serve our country.


Carl Bryer, Army


Derric Cullinane, Marines Chris McGraw, Army


John Bruce, Jr., National Guard Clair Craighead, National Guard Wayne Hall, Army


Duane Henderson, National Guard Ray Smith, Army Dean Stone, Navy


Already wor- ried about making ends meet, many of Northwestern Electric’s con- sumer-members cannot afford the significant increases in electric bills that this policy would trigger.


Inside


Why I’m thankful...........2 Rebate program............3 Recipe............................3 Missing members.........4 Trouble paying bill........4


Tyson Littau, CEO Historically, the price of coal re-


mains affordable and relatively stable. The U.S. Energy Information Agency reports the United States has 236 years remaining of recoverable coal reserves. Coal generates 37 percent of the nation’s electricity—our biggest energy source by far. Seems the Administration lets his- tory repeat itself. We saw this all- but-one game in 1978 when Congress passed the ill-conceived Power Plant and Industrial Fuel Use Act. Never heard of it? Few have, but for several years the government banned natural gas for power generation. Yes, natural gas—the fuel source being sold to the nation today as a cleaner fuel option. With gas off the table, electric co-ops were forced to choose between build- ing coal or nuclear plants.


Back then, co-ops were in the midst of a major power plant building cycle. With few options, they invested heav- ily in coal-based generating plants in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Thankfully Congress repealed its mis- take, but not for nine years. Let’s not repeat past mistakes. Stand with us as we fight to keep electric bills affordable. Raise your voice through the Cooperative Action Network at www.action.coop. Tell the EPA we need an all-of-the-above energy strategy.


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