Electric Co-ops Decry Administration's New 'All-But-One' Energy Policy

Sep 18, 2013, 19:18 ET from Georgia EMC

TUCKER, Ga., Sept. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Paul Wood, CEO of Georgia Electric Membership Corp., released the following statement in response to the testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, before the House Energy & Commerce Committee this morning; and in light of recent press leaks of the Administration's proposed regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

"Georgia EMC and the 41 member co-ops in the state are disappointed to learn that the Administration has abandoned its 'all-of- the-above' energy strategy and embraced an 'all-but-one' approach that restricts the future use of coal to generate affordable electricity.  The anticipated regulations are reported to require any new coal-burning facility to capture and store carbon dioxide, a prohibitively expensive technology that is not commercially viable.

"In doing so, the Administration is gambling with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation's economy.  As not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops are deeply concerned about maintaining affordable, reliable electricity.  It's worth noting that residents of rural communities already spend more per capita on energy than anywhere else. 

"Georgia EMC, together with electric co-ops across the country and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, urges the Administration to reconsider this proposal and focus on working with co-ops as we continue to reduce power plant emissions, increase efficiency and develop affordable new technologies. Together, we can improve both the environment and the quality of life for future generations."

Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state's 41 electric co-ops, Oglethorpe Power Corp. (OPC), Georgia Transmission Corp. (GTC) and Georgia System Operations Corp.   Georgia's 41 not-for-profit EMCs provide electric service to more than 4.4 million Georgians across 73% of the state's land area. 

OPC and GTC are the wholesale generation and transmission cooperatives, respectively, for 38 EMCs, while 3 EMCs provide electric service as part of the Tennessee Valley Authority.