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Clarke Electric reacts to President Obama’s new regulations

Published: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 10:40 a.m. CDT

Clarke Electric Cooperative has concerns with the Obama administration’s proposed carbon dioxide emissions regulations on existing power facilities. The proposed regulations, which were released June 2, 2014, are about about America’s ongoing energy supply.

“We believe that the proposed rules released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will likely lead to increases in our member-owners’ monthly electric bills – the question is how much?” said Bill Freeman, manager of Clarke Electric Cooperative.

Clarke’s primary concern is that the costs to operate coal-fueled generation, which is one of our nation’s most reliable and cost-effective sources of power, could be significantly increased.

In addition, potentially forcing the premature shutdown of certain electric generating facilities is not a sustainable solution for the millions who rely on safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible power for their homes and businesses.

“Member-owners of Clarke Electric are served from a diverse portfolio of sustainable electric generation resources, including coal (39.5%), nuclear (35.0%), wind/hydro (25.0%) and natural gas (0.5%). And we are proud of our overall reliability rate of 99.5%. We support responsible environmental policies that balance the needs of the environment without significantly impacting power reliability or electric bills,” Freeman said.

Clarke Electric and Central Iowa Power Cooperative have demonstrated its shared commitment to a sustainable environment by investing millions of dollars in energy efficiency programs and services, and environmental upgrades to existing generating facilities; integrating cooperative and member-owned renewable resources such as wind and solar; and implementing automated meter reading to substantially reduce the use of transportation fuels.

“Our member-owners expect service 24 hours a day, seven days a week and to pay a reasonable price for that service. Clarke Electric Cooperative will be working closely with the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives and other stakeholders to analyze the proposed requirements to determine the impacts on member-owners’ electric bills and make sure power is there when the switch is flipped on,” Freeman said.

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