National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jo Ann Emerson commented June 2 on the latest round of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions for power plants.
“Americans count on affordable and reliable energy to power our communities, promote job and economic growth, and keep costs in line for the basic necessities in our family budgets. New EPA regulations that add to the price of electricity have serious consequences for our communities, jobs and families.
“It’s very disappointing and disturbing that the EPA proposed a regulation that goes further than the Clean Air Act allows by taking an ‘outside the fence’ approach to setting the emissions reduction requirements that states must accomplish.
“America’s electric cooperatives are naturally concerned that these regulations will increase electricity prices and force power plant shutdowns, thereby harming the economy and jobs of hard-working Americans. However, there are a lot of details to work through in this proposal – and additional details that will be outlined in yet-to-be-developed state plans.
“Co-ops serve some of America’s communities most sensitive to, and least able to afford, increases in the cost of energy. Electric co-ops require independence and flexibility to choose solutions based on the needs of the communities they serve, which thoughtfully take into account balanced consideration of affordability, reliability and environmental responsibility.
“America’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperatives remain laser-focused on the affordability and reliability of the electricity that powers our communities and will provide the EPA with detailed feedback after analyzing the proposal through that lens.”
NRECA represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric co-ops, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.