All pain and no gain. It doesn't sound like much fun. But that's what we're in for with the newest proposal out of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It would amend the Clean Air Act to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power plants on which we rely today.
That's why I traveled to Pittsburgh on August 1 to represent Washington Electric Cooperative and Ohio's other electric cooperatives at the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) field hearing.
Electric cooperatives oppose these regulations because they put policy ahead of people. Our members, the people we serve, cannot afford higher electricity prices. Already, folks in rural America on average earn a lower income and pay more for energy. These additional government mandates serve only to further increase that burden without making any sizeable decrease in global CO2 emissions.
Support for the environment and a true all-of-the-above energy policy are not mutually exclusive. In fact Ohio's electric cooperatives have invested more than $1 billion in the past decade to improve our power plants. After all, we live in the communities we serve.
We play with our kids in the same parks. We breathe the same air and drink the same water.
We care deeply about the environment. But we also care deeply about affordable electricity. Most importantly, that's what our members care about. So we work every day to provide affordable and reliable electricity to all we serve.
Rural electric cooperatives are a unique subset of the electric utility industry due to our rural service territories. We are not-for-profit, member-owned utilities that provide electricity to nearly 400,000 members in Ohio and 42 million people nationwide. And together we stand united against government mandates that put policy ahead of people.