Good stewards

Good stewards

A forest with a river running through it.

Credit: Getty Images

Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives was gratified to see the Environmental Protection Agency finalize its work on the Affordable Clean Energy rule to further reduce carbon dioxide emissions, replacing earlier proposals with more sensible regulations.

Electric cooperatives have long been not only willing, but eager, to be good stewards of the environment. Our seventh cooperative principle, “Concern for Community,” certainly extends to the land we work, our water supply, and the air we breathe.

We are, in fact, quite proud of the Cardinal Power Plant and the work it’s been doing for more than 50 years providing the bulk of the electricity supplied to Ohio cooperative consumers. We’re proud of the fact that co-ops have invested more than $1 billion in the best technology available to vastly reduce the plant’s emissions of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide — investments that have made Cardinal one of the cleanest generating plants of its kind in the world.

The U.S. power industry as a whole has made enormous strides in dramatically reducing the environmental impact of providing our nation’s electricity supply. All regulated pollutants have steadily decreased over the past 20 years as we have transitioned to cleaner and more renewable energy sources. The amount of carbon dioxide emitted in producing all U.S. electricity has already declined 28% from 2005 levels.

The Affordable Clean Energy rule allows us to build on the successes we have achieved from the environmental investments we’ve made at Cardinal and other power generation facilities. We will keep seeking ways to be still cleaner and even better stewards of the environment and better neighbors in the communities we serve. We continue to utilize solar energy, biofuel energy, hydropower, and natural gas to complement what’s produced at Cardinal. Coal-burning plants will continue to be a valuable and necessary part of an “all-of-the-above” electricity supply that we depend on to be both reliable and affordable.