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Get Active In Your Electric Co-op


East Central Electric wants members to be involved in their co-op. You can do this by attending co-op meetings, reading your monthly newsletter and visiting ECE’s website and Facebook page. Another way to get active is to volunteer for Friends of Rural Electrification (FORE) group. FORE is comprised of members just like you who take ownership of their co-op seriously. “FORE members are our co-op ambassadors,” said Amy Nix, ECE member services representative.


It is their job to stay up on co-op issues that could affect the well being of the co-op and their electric service. For example, FORE members toured the coal-fired plant in Hugo on October 1. The plant is one of many in the U.S. that face possible closure due to stiffer EPA regulations.


By educating themselves about energy issues, FORE members are able to share their insight with other members and even their elected representatives. “They are the front line of our local, grassroots support,” Nix said.


FORE responsibilities fluctuate with the challenges of the industry. When ECE asked members to get involved in the nationwide letter-writing campaign opposing EPA regulations, FORE members were some of the first to respond.


For more information on FORE, please call your co- op at 918-756-0833.


2 | OCTOBER 2015 | country living


co-opissues


EPA Regs Fail To Consider Economic Impact On Rural Americans


the following statement about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rules regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new, existing, modified and reconstructed power plants.


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“Any increase in the cost of electricity most dramatically impacts those who can least afford it, and the fallout from the EPA’s rule will cascade across the nation for years to come,” Emerson said.


The final rule still contains the fundamental flaws of the original proposal, she added. “It exceeds the EPA’s legal authority under the Clean Air Act, and it will raise electricity rates for our country’s most vulnerable populations while challenging the reliability of the grid.


NRECA recently commissioned a study that underscores the devastating relationship between higher electricity prices and job losses. The study, Affordable Electricity: Rural America’s


Assessing the Impact


The EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations will have significant impacts across the country, particularly for cooperatives and


people in some of the poorest areas of the country. Some predictions:


171 plants with reduced capacity 111 of those plants completely closed 2 plants closed in Oklahoma 85,928.5 MW lost capacity (US) SOURCE: NRECA


ational Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jo Ann Emerson made


!


A 10 percent increase in electricity prices could result in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021 across


the country, with nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs in rural communities.


Economic Lifeline, measures the impact of a 10 and 25 percent electricity price increase on jobs and gross domestic product (GDP) from 2020 to 2040.


Even a 10 percent increase in electricity prices results in 1.2 million jobs lost in 2021 across the country with nearly 500,000 of those lost jobs in rural communities.


In terms of national GDP from 2020 to 2040, a 10 percent increase results in a cumulative loss of $2.8 trillion and a 25 percent increase results in a cumulative $5.4 trillion loss.


Even more concerning is the impact of higher costs on the electric bills of those who can least afford it. On average, 23 percent of co-op households nationwide earn an annual income of less than $25,000. The average income for households served by electric cooperatives is 11.5 percent less than the national average.


“This study shines a light on the true, real-life cost of higher electricity prices – a cost that policymakers in Washington would do well to remember,” Emerson added. “And federal regulations that result in higher electricity prices could wipe out any modest gains rural America has made since the Great Recession.”


Co-op members can find more on the EPA ruling and its impact on rural America by visiting www.action.coop, or visit www.nreca.coop.


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