House Votes to Block Clean Power Plan, a Significant Threat to Electric Reliability

(ARLINGTON, VA) —The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) called today’s House votes to block the Clean Power Plan further repudiation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) unlawful climate policy. The plan threatens what matters most to electric co-op member-owners—reliable and affordable electricity.

The House approved two resolutions recently passed by the Senate: one to halt EPA carbon dioxide emissions standards for new power plants, and a second to overturn standards for existing plants. The measures are similar to resolutions sponsored by House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.).

NRECA expressed appreciation for Chairman Whitfield’s leadership on this issue, which is of great concern to America’s electric co-ops.

“The Clean Power Plan puts EPA on a collision course with what co-op member-owners care about the most—a reliable and affordable supply of electricity,” said Debbie Wing, NRECA director of media relations.  “The Clean Power Plan will lead to higher electricity prices, force the premature shutdown of power plants and threaten electric reliability. Any way you look at it, it’s a bad deal for rural America.”

NRECA recently conducted a nationwide survey of 750 co-op member-owners to identify what they considered to be the most important factor about their electric service. Reliability ranked the highest, with 54 percent identifying this as their number one priority. Thirty percent of co-op members listed cost as their greatest concern.  Conservation and environmental impact ranked third and fourth, with 9 and 5 percent of respondents listing them as their top priority, respectively.

Last month, 39 generation and transmission cooperatives joined NRECA in petitioning the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to review the Clean Power Plan.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.