Congress needs a reality check on climate change

Published 9:33 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

To the editor:
As Congress debates climate change this fall, our voices must drown out special interests and businesses interested in turning a profit. We’ve got to send Congress a reality check.
Since early this year, Congress has considered a cap-and-trade system to address climate change concerns. This system focuses on reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, vehicles, and factories – essentially, impacting all sectors of the economy. While I agree that we must pay attention to climate change issues, the more pressing issue facing our industry right now is future electricity supply and reliability. The reality is that the cost of electricity will – and must – go up in order to avoid future supply and reliability issues. This legislation will increase electric bills without addressing those pressing issues.

Collectively we need to step up as voices for energy balance and encourage Congress to keep the interests of electric consumers in mind as they consider climate change legislation. Midwest Energy Cooperative fully supports efforts to reduce carbon emissions, but it must be done in a fair and balanced way. Under the current legislation, those of us in states that are heavily dependent on coal for electric generation will see significant increases in our electric bills. We must urge members of the Senate to keep climate change legislation fair, recognizing regional differences in how electricity is produced. And it must be affordable for all Americans.

Please contact your senator and voice your concerns about the pending climate change legislation. More information and resources can be found under the Voices for Energy Balance icon at We need to send a loud and clear message about the need for fair, affordable and achievable climate change legislation, and we must ensure that the vote on that legislation is done with America’s best interests in mind.

Robert L. Hance
Midwest Energy Cooperative