OEC supports Trump Clean Power Plan executive order

March 28, 2017

Patrick Higgins

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives President & CEO Pat O’Loughlin today voiced his support of President Trump’s signing of an executive order on the Clean Power Plan.

“It has always been the contention of Ohio’s electric cooperatives that the Clean Power Plan constitutes an overreach of authority by the EPA, and has the potential to cost Ohio’s electric cooperative members hundreds of dollars a year on their electric bills, while providing little, if any, environmental benefit,” O’Loughlin said. “It’s in the interest of the one million member-consumers whom our cooperatives serve to safeguard a reliable, affordable, sustainable supply of electricity.”

National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson echoed O’Loughlin’s statement.  “Affordable and reliable power is fundamental to a successful economy. We appreciate the Trump administration working to protect American families and businesses from the potentially devastating impacts of the Clean Power Plan. Today’s announcement is welcome news for electric cooperatives across the nation seeking flexibility and fairness – but it’s not yet the end of the journey. Now that President Trump has issued his executive order, we look forward to EPA undoing this rule and taking a closer look at other current regulations.

“Electric co-ops have two key missions – providing electricity and other services to more than 42 million consumers and empowering the communities they serve. The CPP jeopardizes co-ops’ ability to accomplish both. If implemented, the CPP would hit many of our electric cooperatives extremely hard by forcing them to prematurely shutter existing power plants. Those co-ops would in essence be charged twice for their electricity—once to continue paying down the loans on the closed power plants and again for the cost of purchasing replacement power.

“Today’s announcement is an important step toward protecting our cooperatives and millions of Americans from the costly impacts of the CPP as co-ops continue innovating and moving toward cleaner energy production. We look forward to working with the administration to advance our common goals and improve the lives of every rural American.”

In October 2015, NRECA and 39 generation and transmission cooperatives petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals to review and reject the CPP. That effort laid the groundwork for a stay by the Supreme Court, giving the current administration time to review the rule and issue today’s executive order.

Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives is the not-for-profit statewide association, made up of Buckeye Power, the organization’s energy generation and transmission cooperative, and Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, the organization’s trade and services alliance, which serve Ohio’s 24-member cooperative network.