Letter: Fight for “all-of-the-above” energy strategy

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Farm Forum

As a director for Northern Electric Cooperative, we work to ensure that our members have affordable, reliable and dependable energy from a variety of generation sources. Rules proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency which could effectively eliminate our use of coal as a generation resource, could increase electric costs.

Northern Electric Cooperative gets 55 percent of our electricity from coal sources in addition to 36 percent from renewables such as wind, heat recovery, methane digester and hydro power. We need an all-of-the-above energy strategy that uses a diverse fuel mix including renewables, natural gas, nuclear and coal to generate electricity. Co-op’s support using demand response and energy efficiency programs to use that energy wisely and keep costs affordable.

While these regulations are technical, the potential increase in electric rates is something we take personally because we know it’s difficult to make ends meet month-to-month. We know the tough choices you face — we all face — in trying to live on a budget. That’s what sets cooperatives apart from other utilities and that’s why we must stick together. In fact, Department of Energy officials testified to Congress that the proposed rules could increase wholesale electricity costs by 70 to 80 percent.

Folks in Washington just don’t understand we can’t take any more regulations based on unproven technology. Join us in the fight for reasonable energy policies that will keep electric rates affordable. Please send a message to the EPA by visiting action.coop and tell them that keeping your electricity bill affordable is important. If you’re not a co-op member, these rules will also affect your bill. Visit TellEPA.com and speak up.

We’re powering the future, driving economic growth and fostering innovation for you. And we don’t want these new regulations to get in our way of progress. Please join the call and help us keep moving forward.

Donna Sharp, Northern Electric Cooperative Director, Bath