November 16, 2015

Holmes-Wayne Electric protecting members’ interest
By now, you’ve probably heard of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s much-heralded “Clean Power Plan.” What you might not have heard is how much it will increase electricity prices with minimal or even no affect on the environment.
Electric cooperatives like Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative oppose the Clean Power Plan because it defies common sense, plain and simple. As a not-for-profit consumer-owned electric cooperative, we have an obligation to provide our member-owners with affordable, reliable, environmentally responsible electricity at cost.
So naturally we want to protect our consumer-members from hikes in their monthly bills. Despite EPA’s claims that consumers will eventually save on their electric bills, the calculations of many trade groups and utilities have found the exact opposite; the only disagreement among them is just how much electricity costs will increase. Apparently, the EPA did not account for the much higher price tag attached to producing electricity the way the Clean Power Plan mandates.
This heavy-handed regulation calls for a massive ramp-up of renewable energy, regardless of price. Renewable energy has proven to produce power at higher costs and is intermittent, meaning power sources like wind and solar require a reliable backup source, such as coal or natural gas. If utilities like Buckeye Power, Holmes-Wayne Electric Cooperative’s  wholesale power supplier, are required to arbitrarily replace coal with natural gas and renewable energy, consumers will be left with huge stranded costs for power plants that still have many years of useful life.
We want clean air and water as much as anyone. But the EPA’s proposal is unreasonable, unnecessary, and possibly illegal.
Why is it unnecessary? Emissions of all types from power plants have been dramatically reduced over the past 10 years because utilities have invested in environmental controls on coal-fired power plants. Buckeye Power’s Cardinal Generating Station is now one of the cleanest power plants of its kind in the entire world, following the installation of more than $1 billion of emissions control equipment over the past 12 years. Cardinal supplies reliable, affordable, environmentally responsible electricity to the 25 electric cooperatives serving Ohio’s 400,000 consumer-members.
Utilities are also voluntarily closing less-efficient coal-fired power plants and replacing that generation with natural gas and sensible renewable energy. Carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, which is what the Clean Power Plan is targeting, have already been reduced 19.4 percent since 2005, and further reductions are near certain without the EPA’s interference.
What’s most troubling about these numbers is that even the EPA, by its own calculations, admits these drastic regulations in the U.S. will only minimally affect global carbon dioxide emissions. Some reports state reductions will not even offset the new plant emissions for the fast growing industrial countries like China and India.
Why do we think it’s illegal? Ohio and 25 other states contend that the Clean Power Plan is a huge over-reach of the EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act. In essence, the EPA — a regulatory agency — is making an end-run around Congress. The EPA is trying to replace by force the “cap and trade” legislation that failed to pass Congress in 2008.
Even the director of the Ohio EPA, Craig Butler, believes the plan is outside the federal EPA’s authority. “While we continue to review the final rule presented by U.S. EPA on Aug. 3, our fundamental legal and technical concerns persist or continue to grow,” Butler testified in September before the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space and Technology’s Subcommittee on Environment.
He told the subcommittee that Ohio has benefited from using an “all fuels” approach to generating power, but the EPA’s plan will mandate a “significant expansion of renewable generation across the country, regardless of practicality or cost.”
By forcing excessive investment in renewable energy, the Clean Power Plan will prematurely retire coal-fired power plants. Not only will that increase electricity costs, but it will make the power grid less reliable. No one wants less reliable electricity.
The bottom line: The EPA’s Clean Power Plan imposes huge costs and a tremendous regulatory burden on states, and utilities will likely reduce carbon dioxide emissions by only a few percentage points beyond what would have happened without this unreasonable regulation.
To this end, Ohio’s electric cooperatives, along with 36 other wholesale power suppliers, Ohio EPA and 25 other state EPA offices are suing the U.S. EPA through the Federal D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to stay the implementation of the EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan while the courts determine whether this regulation is even legal.
Please join your electric cooperative by telling the White House to reconsider the Clean Power Plan and bring forth a plan that considers the affordability and reliability of power generation along with environmental responsibility. Visit www.Action.coop to learn more.

 

August 3, 2015

The EPA released the final ruling on carbon dioxide emissions from the U.S. power sector. The final proposed rules will be even more detrimental than the initial proposal. This will have direct impact on all Americans across the nation whether your power is provided by a cooperative, municipal or investor owned utility.

With the initial proposal, it was projected that Holmes-Wayne Electric members will see an increase of $40 to $60 a month. However,with this 1,600 page final proposal, an even more significant impact on our members monthly bill will occur.

Our generation facility, Buckeye Power and our national organization, NRECA, are working diligently to thoroughly examine the final version of the regulations to determine its potential impact to our members.

Ohio is 90% coal fired generation for producing electricity. Not only will this policy impact monthly electric bills but also reliability with the potential of rolling black outs.

We appreciate our members who are current members of our political action committee, COPA. We encourage HWEC members that would like to join COPA to click on the below link.

Also HWEC members can contact their local legislative representatives and express your concern.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Bob Gibbs
U.S. House of Representatives
328 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515  
Phone: (202) 225-6265                                                                                                  
Fax: (202) 225-3394 
gibbs.house.gov

Jim Renacci                                                                       
U.S. House of Representatives                                        
328 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3876
Fax: (202) 225-3059
renacci.house.gov

Powering the American Spirit from Holmes-Wayne Electric on Vimeo.

 

Holmes-Wayne Electric and American Electric Power explain concerns regarding
EPA coal plant proposals

Courtesy of The Voice of Holmes County