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Powerful Living


How do the EPA regulations


Coal accounts for a signifi cant amount of co-op power generation. NRECA member co-op fuel mix as distributed. Source: NRECA


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Q: A:


AFFECT YOU?


You have likely heard in the news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released another round of proposed regulations potentially affecting your electric cooperative. Oklahoma Living wants to explain what these regulations could mean for you.


What are these new regulations?


The latest round of regulations seeks to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing power plants in Oklahoma by more than 35 percent in coming years. The EPA believes placing these strict limits on existing power plants will dramatically lower coal use across the nation.


Does my cooperative support a cleaner environ- ment?


Yes! Your cooperative routinely takes steps to lessen its impact on the environment, both at the co-op and at the power plants that supply its electricity.


Oklahoma’s generation and transmission (G&T) coopera- tives, which supply power to the state’s electric coopera- tives, are always working to ensure power plants meet and surpass standards set by environmental regulations. In recent years, the two G&T cooperatives in Oklahoma, Western Farmers Electric Cooperative and KAMO Power, have strategically used renewable fuel sources to pro- duce clean power. They use alternative sources, includ- ing wind, which is available in our area of the country. Every day, your cooperative works to improve its impact on the environment while balancing the cost of those investments to protect your family’s budget.


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How will these new regulations affect me?


Your cooperative is still working through more than 1,600 pages of documents released by the EPA to under- stand how these regulations could impact your family. What is understood now is that these regulations, as in- terpreted, could increase your electric bill and threaten thousands of jobs across the nation.


While we work to understand the full potential impact on your family’s budget, we believe you deserve to know the changes required by this regulation that could affect your electric bill. In fact, regulations fi nalized over the last fi ve years are already projected to increase your bill. We are very concerned about what impact the most recent proposed regulations could have on Oklahoma’s rural electric membership.


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Cotton Electric’s Clint Ingram, lineman, with his wife Janie and 6-year-old son Maverick. Photo by James Pratt


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Where does my cooperative stand?


Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperatives believe the EPA’s approach is fl awed. We are in favor of a cleaner environment and want to work with the EPA to fi nd a clean and affordable path forward. We are urging the EPA to reconsider its approach and work with us on these regulations supporting the importance of an ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE approach, which would include ALL sources of power generation: coal, wind, natural gas, hydro power, biofuels, solar, etc.


What can I do?


The good news is that your voice counts! EPA of- fi cials need to hear how these proposed regulations could affect Oklahoma’s rural electric cooperative members. Tell offi cials what you think by visiting www.action.coop. Urge them to work with us on these regulations to limit the impact on your electric bill. You can also encourage friends and family who do not receive power from a rural electric cooperative to take a stand on www.tellEPA.com. Let’s work together to fi nd a common-sense solution to leave our children a safe, affordable, reliable and—clean—future.


AUGUST 2014


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