ASSN OF MO ELECTRIC CO-OPS
Co-op Nation says no to president’s climate plan
Missouri’s electric cooperatives have joined a nationwide campaign to educate consumers on the true costs of a plan to add additional regulations to power plants. In June, President Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to develop an aggressive plan for cutting carbon pollution from power plants.
“The president’s plan will increase electricity costs for every American, and that’s a burden we can least afford when our economy is just beginning to recover,” said Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.
Electric cooperatives rely on a diverse mix of generation to keep power affordable and reliable. These new regulations target coal-fired power plants, which account for 70 percent of the electricity used by electric cooperative members in Missouri. Coal is also the least expensive option for generating electricity.
“Many American and Missouri communities depend on clean coal-based generation for affordable electric power,” said Barry Hart, CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. “Using the Clean Air Act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants could disproportionately burden these communities at the same time rural people are reeling from the sluggish economy.
“Currently, there is no affordable technology available to achieve this goal, and in Missouri, that means shutting down clean coal plants which will kill our economy.”
Electric cooperatives believe their investment in energy efficiency, renewable energy and new technology is a better idea. Emerson points out that affordable electricity, more than any other factor, powers the nation’s economy.
The goal of the national “Powering the American Spirit” effort is to get as many electric cooperative members as possible signed up for updates as these new regulations are unveiled and their impact on consumer electric bills become known.
Members of the electric cooperative grassroots team — known as Co-op Nation — will be on hand at the Missouri’s Electric Cooperatives Building at the Missouri State Fair, electric co-op annual meetings and other community events to sign up members for e-mail or text alerts as this issue moves forward.
Members can also join the cause themselves by going to www.action.coop. An online video on the site gives more details on why this issue is causing so much concern among the nation’s member-owned electric cooperatives.
“As a member of an electric cooperative, you need to keep informed on how this issue will impact your electric bill,” Hart said. “Affordable electricity is essential to every American, and every small business. We need your help to encourage common-sense solutions.
“Co-op Nation is 42 million members in the U.S., but we will need all members to get involved and have their voices heard over the months ahead to make a difference."
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(CONTACT: Jim McCarty (573) 680-2451)