Throughout the 2016 campaign, Donald Trump pledged to review burdensome federal regulations when he became president. On March 28, President Trump took an important step to follow through on that commitment by signing an executive order to promote energy independence. The order also calls for review of the Clean Power Plan.
“Electric co-ops have two key missions – providing electricity and other services to more than 42 million consumers and empowering the communities they serve,” said Jim Matheson, CEO at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). “The Clean Power Plan jeopardizes co-ops’ ability to accomplish both.”
“If implemented, the plan would hit many of our electric cooperatives extremely hard by forcing them to prematurely shut down existing power plants. Those co-ops would in essence be charged twice for their electricity – once to continue paying down the loans on the closed power plants and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power,” he said.
Co-ops were so concerned about the economic impacts of the Clean Power Plan that they petitioned the courts to review and reject the regulation. The Supreme Court sided with co-ops and imposed a stay of the rule-essentially freezing its implementation.
It will take the Trump administration a long time to navigate the maze of administrative, regulatory and legal procedures necessary to review the Clean Power Plan. In the meantime, electric co-ops will keep supporting an “all of the above energy policy.” That includes supporting coal mined by Illinois coal miners like the ones in this photo from Prairie State Generating campus, one of only three coal plants in Illinois that uses Illinois coal.