Co-ops support bipartisan climate letter to Obama

On Jan. 30, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and a bipartisan group of 21 U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to ­“consider the burden on ratepayers before moving forward with plans to increase regulations.”

Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, said, “We thank Senator Blunt and his colleagues for their ­letter to President Obama underscoring that the most vulnerable families are hit hardest by energy policies, crafted without deliberate and thoughtful consideration given to the cost implications and those effects on Americans. This is about real people to electric co-ops. We serve the majority of the ‘persistent poverty’ counties in the country and these ill-thought ­regulations dispropor­tionately affect our membership and rural Americans.”

In part the letter said, “In 2009, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, commonly known as “Waxman-Markey,” passed the Democratic-controlled House, but was not even considered in the Senate. The central provision of that legislation would have placed a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, which would then be sharply reduced over time. The legis­lation contemplated a final target of roughly 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. This bill was rejected by Congress for a variety of reasons, including ­primarily the tremendous costs it would impose on con­sumers and the economy for little or no ­benefit. For example, one study found that the bill would raise electricity rates by 90 percent (after adjusting for inflation). Your June 2013 CAP (Climate Action Plan) announcement differs little from Waxman-Markey.” For the full text of the letter go to