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LEGISLATIVE Look


A look at what’s happening on Capitol Hill and how it aff ects you


Co-ops Bring Concerns to EPA on CO2 Rule By Cathy Cash


Agency (EPA) must rethink its proposed greenhouse gas rule for existing power plants, cooperative leaders told the agency. John Novak brings co-op concerns


T


to EPA about proposed carbon dioxide rule for existing power plants. “T e EPA’s energy plan goes


too far, too fast, jeopardizing the well-being of millions of American families in the process,” said Novak, head of the environmental issues team at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). “Simply put, the EPA’s proposal will trigger higher prices for many consumers and local businesses.” NRECA and several co-op leaders


presented their perspective on the proposed “Clean Power Plan” at


o sustain aff ordable and reliable electricity for rural America, the Environmental Protection


public hearings EPA held July 29 in Atlanta, Denver, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh. Novak, speaking at the agency’s


D.C. headquarters, said cooperatives serve more than 90 percent of the persistent poverty counties across the nation—the same communities that are put most at risk by the EPA rule. “T e ramifi cations from EPA’s


proposal will be felt all the way from the generating plant to the toaster,” Novak said. Since 2009, co-ops have doubled


their renewable energy capacity and have made long-term investments in wind, solar and hydro energy production. Co-ops also invested billions of dollars in fossil generation when national policy encouraged coal as a domestic energy resource, he said.


“Cooperatives have played by


the rules, but moving the goalposts again—like this proposal would— will result in stranded assets and premature shutdowns,” said Novak. EPA’s rule sets a carbon dioxide


emissions reduction goal for each state that would lower national levels of the greenhouse gas by 30 percent by 2030 when compared to 2005 levels. States are expected to develop emission reduction plans subject to EPA approval. Compliance would begin in 2020, with a fi nal compliance target set for 2030. Public comment on the rule


proposed June 2 concludes Oct. 16 and the rule is expected to be fi nalized next summer.


Cathy Cash is an NRECA staff writer for Electric Co-op Today, an e-newsletter for electric co-ops and their members.


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OKLAHOMA ELECTRIC CO-OP NEWS • SEPTEMBER 2014


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