Your electric cooperative’s mission to provide members’ homes and businesses with reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible electricity has faced its share of obstacles through the decades. In the past several months, I have warned of threats to our electric system’s reliability from overly ambitious environmental regulations.
Last month, the Biden administration issued a new set of power plant rules that may be the greatest threat yet to our mission. If implemented, those rules all but ban the use of fossil fuels to produce electricity by the 2030s. The U.S. EPA administrator, Michael Regan, has even claimed this can be done at very little cost and without affecting electric reliability.
That, of course, would be wonderful if it were true. The reality is that our electric power system has been built up over decades — and it continues to evolve with new technologies that are cleaner and more efficient. Our system works on the principles of science and engineering, not wishes and dreams. Any plan to move completely away from fossil fuels today is unrealistic based on the limits of technology, time, and money.
Your electric cooperative is a member-owned and -controlled organization that exists solely for the benefit of those members — like you — and the communities we serve. Like many other businesses, we advocate on behalf of the cooperative and our members with the government officials who make the laws and regulations that affect our operations.
Unlike most other businesses, however, your electric cooperative is not pushing for policies that allow us to earn greater profits or gain a competitive advantage. Electric cooperatives are not-for-profit organizations, and our advocacy seeks only common-sense policies that allow us to meet our members’ expectations as a trusted and reliable supplier of an essential service.
People of all political persuasions depend on a reliable supply of electricity for their health, safety, and security. Unfortunately, the administration’s plan is simply not realistic. We will need to fight our federal government for many months, likely years, to avoid the harmful effects it will bring about.
Please stay tuned. We will need your help and support to keep the lights on.