Last updated: August 24. 2013 1:48PM - 195 Views

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Presidentís climate tax hurts middle class

In a speech given at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama announced a broad new federal mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. The president will instruct federal regulators to apply the Clean Air Act to carbon dioxide issued from existing power plants.

Notwithstanding the fact the Clean Air Act was not designed to address carbon dioxide, we at Midwest Electric are especially concerned about the presidentís proposal because it essentially imposes a massive new climate tax upon all consumers. And middle- and lower-class Americans already spend a disproportionate amount of their income on energy, so the presidentís cost increases will hit those who can least afford it.

There is no technology available today to capture or reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so this plan will simply increase the cost without reducing emissions. And as America continues to export coal to other nations with lesser emissions standards, this plan would actually increase global emissions of sulfur dioxide, mercury and other power plant emissions that are tightly controlled in America but not in China and India. At the same time, jobs will be lost in America as the cost of doing business rises.

These regulations also take autonomy from our cooperative by challenging our ability to make decisions that govern our own infrastructure.

The presidentís climate tax fails to take into account electric cooperativesí existing efforts to integrate renewable energy into our power portfolios.

Ultimately, electric cooperatives are about keeping electric bills affordable. The presidentís proposal will make electric power more expensive, causing families and businesses to sacrifice on top of all the other uncertainty in our national economy.

ó Rick D. Gerdeman, manager/CEO of Midwest Electric, St. Marys

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