North Carolina’s electric cooperative members join 1 million across nation, encourage balance for proposed EPA regulations

Raleigh, N.C. —Thousands of cooperative members from North Carolina’s 26 electric cooperatives have joined more than one million Americans who have asked the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to balance the environment and the economy as it considers regulations.

In June, the EPA proposed a set of regulations for existing electric power plants that would affect utilities’ ability to produce affordable, reliable electricity. The EPA asked the public for feedback on its proposals until Dec. 1. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives encouraged cooperative member-consumers to submit messages and provided a portal for them to do so,

“Protecting our environment and natural resources is important, but just as important is making sure electricity is affordable for all of our cooperative members,” said Joe Brannan, CEO of North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation, the power supplier for most of the state’s electric cooperatives. “Affordable, reliable electricity is the lifeblood of every household, business and community in the country, and we’re grateful that our members joined a million others to communicate the message of affordability to the EPA.”

The EPA is currently reviewing the comments submitted and intends to finalize their proposal in June of 2015. North Carolina’s electric cooperatives will continue to work with the EPA to develop a proposal that balances the environment and the economy and that gives credit to our state’s cooperatives for their work with renewable energy and energy efficiency.  The state’s electric cooperatives were early adopters of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and these efforts have allowed the co-ops to meet the state-approved renewable portfolio standard put in place in 2007. The electric cooperatives are encouraging the EPA to appropriately acknowledge these efforts, as well as fully recognize the investment North Carolina’s electric cooperatives have made in nuclear energy; more than half of the cooperatives’ power portfolio comes from emissions-free nuclear energy.

North Carolina’s electric cooperatives provide safe, reliable, affordable and environmentally responsible electricity to 2.5 million North Carolinians and are a part of a nationwide network of not-for-profit electric cooperatives serving 42 million Americans.