Hereï¿½s what your lobbyists did for you last month:
In early May, more than 70 leaders of electric co-ops in Kentucky went to Washington, D.C. They met with all six House members from our state and both senators. They told those elected officials about some laws, regulations, and budgets that need to be changed, and others that need to be kept the way they are, to help make sure youï¿½re getting the most reliable and affordable electric service possible.
The co-op leaders also warned about a set of planned federal rules that threaten that affordability and reliability.
The Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of implementing five different regulations affecting coal-fired power plants over the next four years.
Those rules would require installing incredibly expensive equipment, some of which could be a waste of money depending on how other rules are implemented. The result of all the potential requirements could mean some coal plants would need to be taken out of service.
You can read more about the effects of those rules in Commonwealths: A warning of higher electric rates and lost jobs. In that story, the head of Big Rivers Electric co-op in western Kentucky tells Congress about potential rate increases and the loss of industry and jobs that could result from the proposed EPA regulations.
I know some of you reading this think we need tougher environmental rules in order to save the planet. Others of you think that level of concern about pollution is hogwash. And there are a lot of you somewhere in between.
No matter what opinions you hold about energy and the environment, a basic truth is that Kentucky has some of the lowest electric rates of any state because nearly all of our electricity comes from coal. And there are no alternatives that can replace coal in the near future without severe disruption to Kentuckyï¿½s economy.
Federal policy makers face a difficult road mapping a future for the country with such a diversity of views on the correct course. The leaders of your local, member-owned electric co-ops last month made sure that as part of that process, they heard the voices from the people back home who are working to keep your electricity reliable and affordable.