Co-op members applaud Billy Long

Posted on October 16, 2014 22:30 pm CDT

Springfield News Leader
Letter to the Editor, Barry Hart

Executive vice president & CEO, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives

At a time when many simply can't afford to pay more for electricity, Missouri's electric cooperatives appreciate Congressman Billy Long's support of an "all-of-the-above" energy strategy for the Show-Me State and beyond.

The electric cooperative mission is to provide reliable and affordable electricity to our members at the lowest possible cost, and doing so requires a diverse mix of electricity-generating resources.

We have a long history of supporting renewable energy. Today, Missouri's 600,000 electric co-op members receive electricity produced using a number of sources — including both wind energy and hydropower.

But coal is the lowest-cost fuel to make electricity, accounting for 80 percent of the power used in Missouri. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's proposed carbon-dioxide regulations for existing coal-fired power plants will undoubtedly raise the cost. If you increase the cost for the lowest-priced source of electricity, you will certainly increase electric bills. That's something many of our members just can't afford.

We applaud Congressman Long for recognizing the importance of maintaining a balanced electricity-generating portfolio that includes clean coal, natural gas and renewable energy. By taking any of these out of the equation, our economy and our neighbors will suffer.




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