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President Obama’s proposal alarming for rural electric cooperatives

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 2:13 p.m. CST

In a speech on Tuesday, June 25, 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 plan will impose a massive new climate tax upon all consumers; we at Clarke Electric Cooperative are especially concerned about this proposal because it will unnecessarily increase the rates our members pay.

The president’s proposal will hit co-op served families and businesses here awfully hard.  

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.

Central Iowa Power Cooperative (CIPCO), our power supplier, is 47 percent coal, 30 percent nuclear and 23 percent wind and hydro, and will continue to make efforts to integrate renewable energy resources.

Ultimately, electric cooperatives are about keeping electric bills affordable and providing underserved communities the power they need to improve their quality of life.

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 Clarke Electric Cooperative will join together with other utilities to voice our concerns on behalf of our members.

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