December 3, 2016

Help Your Electric Co-op Keep Rates Affordable

A message for all Michigan electric co-op member-owners. . .
The fight to maintain affordable, reliable electricity continues–and you can help!

Co-op members are needed to step up and let their voices be heard. Electric co-ops across the country are fighting to maintain a balanced energy policy that protects affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity generation.

Co-op members are being asked to join the fight to instill common sense into the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) rule-making process by commenting online at Action.coop. It only takes a few minutes to complete. Proposed regulations threaten to end the use of coal at new power plants. This is a concern because the regulations, along with the ones EPA has in store for existing plants, have the potential to drive up everyone’s electric bills.

Nationwide, coal is responsible for about 40 percent of all electricity generated.

“As not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops rely on a diverse fuel mix to provide affordable, reliable electricity to 42 million Americans,” explains Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, the trade association for America’s electric co-ops. “We believe strongly in our responsibility both to our environment and to members, who often serve some of the most economically vulnerable populations in this country.

“That’s why NRECA continues to urge the administration to reconsider this proposal and the potentially damaging effects it could have on communities and the economy,” she adds. Electric rates are something consumer owned electric co-ops take personally because they know the tough choices many of us face in trying to live on a budget. That’s what sets co-ops apart from other utilities and that’s
why we must stick together.

Thousands have already answered the call and sent comments through Action.coop, but more are needed. About 609 Michigan co-op members have started sharing their thoughts with the EPA. “This is a start, but we can do better, as it’s critically important that the voice of co-op members is heard on this issue,” says Craig Borr, president/CEO of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association.
Bringing common sense to the rule-making process is also important as the EPA develops rules for existing plants, which are scheduled for release in June.

In just the last decade, power supply co-ops have invested over $3.4 billion to reduce emissions and boost efficiency. And, co-ops are only asking that environmental regulation be balanced with realistic costs and benefits. By stepping up to comment, you will be asking the EPA to recognize the unique circumstances of your nonprofit, member-owned electric co-op and to work with coops to forge a fair solution that allows them to continue providing you with affordable, reliable power.

Electric co-ops serve over 42 million people nationwide. By joining together, co-op members can make a difference in shaping responsible energy policy.

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