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co-op issues


EPA Carbon Ruling Hurts the Poor Removing coal as a generating fuel leaves consumers vulnerable


stating the cost to comply with stricter emission standards will place an unnecessary cost burden on the consumers who are least able to afford it.


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Lending credit to cooperative concerns, are statements from Julion Friedmann, U.S, Department of Energy (DOE) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Clean Coal. At a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on Feb. 11, Friedmann told committee members that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies that are required for power plants to meet EPA standards could result in “something like a 70 to 80 percent increase on the wholesale price of electricity.”


Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association said the EPA regulations “hit hardest on Americans who can least afford to pay the bigger bills, lose their jobs or turn down their heat.”


She pointed out that electric cooperatives serve the majority of the ‘persistent poverty’ counties in the country, which makes the possibility of higher electric costs a serious concern.


Twelve of Oklahoma’s 77 counties fall under the ‘persistent poverty’ classification, with electric co-ops serving a large portion of these residents.


EPA has proposed carbon dioxide standards for new coal-based generation that would require extremely costly carbon capture technologies. The agency will release the proposed carbon dioxide rules for existing power plants in June.


Emerson is urging electric co-ops and their members to tell EPA that pending carbon dioxide rules could harm the economic prosperity of rural America by taking away coal as a resource.


lectric co-op officials continue to make clear their concerns over EPA power plant regulations,


Kiamichi Electric Cooperative members can educate themselves about the issue by visiting www.action.coop. The site provides facts, figures and additional resources to help you understand the problem and weigh decisions for yourself. It also includes an email response can use to send comments to elected officials and EPA.


Electric Co-ops Serve


Persistent Poverty Counties ■ Pushmataha County, Oklahoma


Electric cooperatives serve in 327 of the nation's 353 "persistent poverty counties" (93%). Of the 42 million Americans served by cooperatives, an estimated 4 million live in persistent poverty counties.


The Economic Research Service of the USDA defines these counties as those where the poverty rate has exceeded 20% of the population for the last 30 years; the vast majority of these counties (85%) are non-metropolitan counties.


% of population living in poverty: 24.5% # of people living in poverty: 2,712 Median household income: $30,604


Served by: Choctaw Electric Co-op Kiamichi Electric Cooperative


"EPA regulations hit hardest on Americans who can least afford to pay the bigger bills, lose their jobs or turn down their heat.”


—JO ANN EMERSON, CEO, NRECA


Light Post | march-april 2014 | 7


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