Energy prices depend on the energy mix

All of us understand that diversity, not putting all your eggs in one basket, is a good way to manage risk and ­moderate economic bad news. When it comes to energy and electricity prices electric cooperative leaders believe this same basic principle holds true. We should have an all of the above energy mix, invest in new technology development and practice energy efficiency religiously.

The smart solution to providing affordable energy for Illinois is using a balanced mix of our resources. But due to the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed all-but-one (coal) approach, reliable, affordable power might be in jeopardy in Illinois and across the U.S.

Here are the top four facts about the EPA’s new climate regulations:

1. EPA abandons the energy policy of fuel diversity in our generation mix. Maintaining a mix of different energy resources increases supply and is critical to keeping electricity reliable and affordable. Although Congress could not come to a consensus on this issue, the EPA is trying to mandate an “all-but-one” policy that would eliminate coal from the mix.

2. It’s a technology gamble. The newly proposed ­regulations would require that any new coal units utilize a technology that has not even been fully developed or ­commercialized. In addition to being infeasible, ­imposing that type of regulation for coal plants would make their operation unaffordable.

3. EPA limits access to affordable, domestic energy. By virtually banning new coal plants and possibly ­requiring the shutdown of existing ones, America will be ­abandoning a 236-year old domestic source of energy with a historically stable price.

4. It doesn’t work. A 1978 federal law, the “Fuel Use Act,” prohibited the use of natural gas for manufacturing or boiler fuel. This caused all U.S. utilities to start building coal and nuclear power plants. The loss of fuel diversity raised prices for homeowners, businesses and industry. This reality caused Congress to repeal that law nine years later. Shouldn’t we learn from our past ­mistakes? Losing energy diversity increases rates and puts American industry at risk.

If you’d like to help us keep energy affordable then let the EPA know that we need some common sense

solutions that also help keep energy affordable. Visit today and send a message to the EPA.