EPA rules have consequences for consumers

Today’s political environment for Illinois coal producers is ­hauntingly similar to that of the 1990s as an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty prevail. While the cause of it might not be the same, the threats and consequences today are much graver for the industry, the U.S. ­consumer and those in poverty-stricken countries. Back then an […]

Let’s change how we make state budgets

The state budget is in a terrible mess. According to the Fiscal Futures Project, Illinois has a ­growing gap between sustainable revenues and projected spending levels and the largest unfunded pension liability in the nation. However, tax increases, spending cuts and aggressive pension changes alone are not enough to fix Illinois’ problems permanently. In May […]

Help keep rates affordable

On June 2, the U.S. Environ­mental Protection Agency (EPA) released an ­approximately 1600 page series of ­documents, including a new 645-page proposed rule, aimed at regulating carbon emissions at ­existing power plants. While Illinois’ electric cooperatives care very much about a clean environment, we are respectfully very concerned about the dramatic effect the new rule, […]

Fifty years of history

In 2013, Wabash Valley Power marked its 50th anniversary and took the opportunity to reflect back on its rich history. Twenty-one distribution cooperatives came together in 1963 to create the generation and transmission (G&T) cooperative, and there have been many challenges and successes in the decades in between. Through it all, the focus has remained […]

Q&A with new SIPC President

Let me start by saying how ­humbled and grateful I am that the SIPC Board of Directors entrusted me with this ­respon­sibility. Growing up in southern Illinois, I understand the value of hard work and the importance of ­family and neighbors – southern Illinois values. Coming back “home” to the SIPC member owners was a perfect […]

Doing the right thing

Many times this past winter I looked out the window and thought about how thankful I was to simply be warm. For me, this quickly lead to thoughts ­regarding the complexity and volatility of the production and transmission of electricity, ­probably because this is what I’ve spent my life doing. I have witnessed changes in the […]

Solving the job skills gap…together

Soon after I began ­working for East Central Illinois Development Corporation (ECIDC) in 2010, I was surprised to hear ­business ­leaders express frustrations over their ­inability to find enough workers to fill ­manufacturing jobs. How could this be when our area unemployment rates had been so high? What I have since learned is there is a […]

Help keep rates affordable

Illinois’ not-for-profit electric ­cooperatives work very hard to provide their members with elec­tricity that is safe, reliable and affordable. Co-ops support an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, one that incor­porates coal, natural gas, nuclear and ­renewable energy to generate power. While this strategy was endorsed by President Obama in his January 2012 State of the Union Address, […]

Illinois is expanding broadband in rural areas

Ultra high-speed Internet access is a key to success for rural Illinois, now and in the future. In order to remain competitive in today’s digital society, Illinois must have broadband infrastructure that is second to none. Access to quality, high-speed Internet for all Illinois residents provides opportunities for a better education, better jobs, and ultimately […]

Stopping the new blackout threat

Security of the nation’s electric grid has received a lot of attention lately. National Geographic’s October 27th airing of “American Blackout,” a docudrama about a nationwide blackout following a cyber-attack may have been fiction, but the threat is real. Reports of high-profile hacking attempts on elec­trical facilities by parties foreign and domestic, mischievous and nefarious, keep […]