There is a lot of discussion taking place on what to do about carbon emissions. In fact, Congress is actively considering proposals that would require dramatic reductions from the electric power sector over the next 10 years. The Biden administration has endorsed a “carbon-free by 2035” goal for electricity production.
Since 2005, carbon emissions from U.S. electricity production have been reduced by more than 30%, while other sources of emissions in the U.S. have remained relatively unchanged — and global emissions have continued to increase. That dramatic reduction has been the result of increased use of high-efficiency natural gas power plants and increasing contributions from renewable sources like wind and solar. Electricity production will continue to get cleaner and greener over the next several years.
At the same time, however, we need to be careful not to let aspirational goals like “carbon-free by 2035” impose arbitrary limits on our ability to maintain a reliable and affordable supply of electricity. Just in the past 12 months, we have seen grid failures in Texas and in California that resulted in tragic loss of life and destruction of property. Those failures were both predictable and avoidable as changes to the electric power infrastructure went too far, too fast. Making our power system work reliably, especially during periods of extreme weather, remains the highest priority for Buckeye Power and the entire electric power industry.
Ohio’s electric cooperatives remain committed to doing what we can to keep your supply of electricity reliable, affordable, and always available — and to do so in an environmentally responsible manner. Electric co-ops continue to drive innovation across the electric sector with community solar arrays; advanced metering; demand response; battery storage; carbon capture, use, and storage; and by replacing direct fossil fuel use with lower-emitting electrification. We will support commonsense policies that help accomplish those goals — but will resist arbitrary or unrealistic constraints that negatively affect our members and our communities.
As we gather to express our gratitude for the blessings that have been bestowed upon us this Thanksgiving Day, please know your electric cooperative appreciates the opportunity to serve you today and every day.