Co-op alarmed by proposed increase to electric bills

Published 8:55 am Friday, June 28, 2013

To the Editor:

In a June 25, 2013, speech at Georgetown University, President Obama announced a broad new federal mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. The President will instruct federal regulators to apply the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide issued from power plants.

While the President’s scheme will impose a massive new climate tax upon all consumers; we at Community Electric Cooperative are especially concerned about this proposal because our members already spend disproportionately more on energy than other consumers across the country.

“The President’s proposal will hit co-op served families and businesses here awfully hard,” said Cooperative President/CEO, Steven A. Harmon. “These regulations are costly, and they take autonomy from our co-op by challenging our ability to make decisions that govern our own infrastructure.”

The President’s climate tax fails to take into account electric cooperatives’ existing efforts to integrate renewable energy into our power portfolios. Co-ops are at the forefront of energy efficiency initiatives working hard to reduce the need to build expensive new power plants.

“Ultimately, electric cooperatives are about keeping electric bills affordable and providing underserved communities the power they need to improve their quality of life,” said Harmon. “The President’s proposal will make electric power more expensive, causing families and businesses to sacrifice on top of all the other uncertainty in our national economy. Without question, electric bills will get bigger for the Americans who can least afford to pay them.”

If the President doesn’t see the importance of affordable electric power, then the members of our Cooperative must help bring it to his attention.”

Brenda Mansfield
Members Services Supervisor
Community Electric Cooperative