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co-op issues


Co-op Members Needed to Join the Fight NRECA CEO says "all-but-one" energy policy leaves consumers vulnerable to price hikes


statement in response to testimony of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee in September. McCarthy outlined the Administration’s proposed regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.


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“NRECA and its member co-ops are disappointed that the Administration has abandoned its “all-of- the-above” energy strategy and embraced an “all- but-one” approach that restricts the future use of coal to generate affordable electricity. The anticipated regulations will require any new coal-burning facility to capture and store carbon dioxide, a prohibitively expensive technology that is not commercially viable.


“In doing so, the Administration is gambling with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation’s economy. As not-for-profit, consumer- owned utilities, electric co-ops are deeply concerned about maintaining affordable, reliable electricity. It’s worth noting that residents of rural communities already spend more per capita on energy than anywhere else.


“NRECA urges the Administration to reconsider this proposal and focus on working with co-ops to reduce power plant emissions, increase efficiency and develop affordable new technologies. Together, we can improve both the environment and the quality of life for future generations.”


Electric cooperative members are urged to comment on the EPA’s approach through the Cooperative Action Network, www.action.coop.


The site provides details on this issue, and includes a prepared email response to the EPA that members may send "as is" or edit to include their own comments.


Kiamichi Electric members echo nationwide emission concerns


affordable electric rates took precedence over climate change concerns.


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The results reflect sentiment of co-op members across the nation, and serve as key incentive to co-op leaders as they battle new power plant emission standards established by the EPA.


survey of members at the Kiamichi Electric Cooperative Annual Meeting found that


The new standards threaten to increase power costs for rate payers by eliminating coal as a generating fuel. Coal is historically more stable in price than other fuels such as natural gas. "Regulating it out of the fuel mix leaves our members more vulnerable to price hikes," said Kiamichi Electric CEO Jim Jackson.


Around 32 percent of electricity used by Kiamichi Electric members is generated using coal. In 2012, 57 percent of all power


sold to co-op members nationwide came from coal. Nearly 60 percent of co-op sales in the U.S. are residential accounts who make, on average, $8000 less than the rest of the U.S.


"Our members aren't against clean air but we know that a balance of fuels makes for more affordable rates," Jackson said. "Rural electric members are going to feel the brunt of these regulations, and we don't think that's wise or even fair."


o Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), released the following


Light Post | november-december 2013 | 7


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