Old Dominion Electric Cooperative’s Response to President Obama’s Climate Proposal

Early last week, President 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 power plants.

While the President’s plan will impose a massive new climate tax upon all consumers; we at Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) are especially concerned about this proposal because our members already spend disproportionately more on energy than other consumers across the country. The proposed regulations are costly, and they take autonomy from our co-op by challenging our ability to make decisions that govern our own infrastructure. The President’s climate tax also fails to take into account electric cooperatives’ existing efforts to integrate renewable energy into our power portfolios.

At ODEC, we conduct our business in environmentally responsible ways. We are committed to working through state and federal regulatory processes as they develop to ensure that electric cooperatives are not adversely affected by the new regulations but retain the affordable, reliable electricity our members have come to expect. In addition, we remain committed to:

  • Complying with all federal, state and local laws, regulations and permits designed to protect human life, wildlife habitats and the environment
  • Evaluating the potential environmental impact of power generation and transmission plans; training employees to be mindful of the environment while performing their work
  • Participating in regulatory development on behalf of our member cooperatives; collaborating with employees, regulatory agencies, public officials, and customers on energy and environmental issues
  • Promoting cost-effective energy conservation programs; reducing pollution by minimizing waste wherever possible; recycling or reusing materials at every opportunity
  • Participating in renewable energy projects as a source of green power for our member cooperatives and constantly seeking and evaluating future opportunities in this area
  • Evaluating our programs to ensure compliance with federals, state and local laws, regulations and permits.

We will continue to seek improvements in our power delivery system and believe our past successes should be taken into consideration by the EPA. Ultimately, electric cooperatives are about keeping electric bills affordable and providing underserved communities the power they need to improve their quality of life. As climate change regulations are being drafted, we also believe the economic impact of those regulations on rural Americans must be considered. In that vein, we will continue to oppose regulations that significantly increase costs to electric cooperative members.

Jack Reasor
President & CEO
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative

View original letter: ODEC’s Response to President Obama’s Climate Proposal (PDF)