In many ways, the Tennessee State Fair that begins today in Nashville is a celebration of rural life and roots.
It’s why we participate as a sponsor; those same roots are part of our DNA as electric cooperatives. In the 1930s, when no one else would, farmers and rural residents built the grids that electrified the countryside and built the cooperative model that still powers much of Tennessee today.
We never forget where we came from. And we never take our eye off the ratepayer, his or her needs, and the principles we stand for: low rates and reliable power.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed new, far-reaching regulations for power plants. These are the very power plants that we depend on for the electricity that powers your home and community. The regulations seek to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
The EPA has repeatedly said it supports an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. But the proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions is an “all-but-one” approach. It virtually eliminates coal as a source for fuel.
And that’s a big deal. Here’s why.
TVA had its highest demand for electricity in its history earlier this year in January. On the highest day of usage, 29 percent of the electricity generated was from coal. If we hadn’t had that coal, we simply wouldn’t have had enough power.
Electric co-ops support clean, renewable energy, but we also support keeping the lights on. To do that, we need every available source of generation.
As EPA proposes these drastic regulations, TVA has made great strides in providing stability and diversity in its generation mix. With EPA and other outside groups pressuring TVA to change its mix based on their criteria, it’s time that Tennesseans provide our input.
We need your help to tell EPA that it shouldn’t hurt our ability to deliver affordable and reliable electricity with new, costly regulations. We’ve made it easy to send a message to Washington. Go to www.takeactionTN.com and send a message to the EPA and TVA. We’re asking that the EPA either withdraw this proposal or provide time for other solutions. It needs to work with electric cooperatives on a commonsense solution that balances energy needs and environmental concerns.
Electricity is the lifeblood of our community. It powers our homes and businesses, and none of us can afford an increase in our monthly utility bill. The impact of these new regulations will mean that the cost of electricity will rise. Limits on fuel sources will also mean that we just won’t have enough power.
That’s not a theory. It’s simple math.
David Callis is executive vice president and general manager of the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association.
Read the article here.
- On September 8, 2014