NORTH CENTRAL ELECTRIC REPRESENTS COOPERATIVES AT EPA ROUNDTABLE INTRODUCING AFFORDABLE ENERGY RULE (ACE)
COLUMBUS, OH (July 19, 2019) - North Central Electric Cooperative, the sister cooperative of Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative, board trustee Nick Wagner spoke on behalf of Ohio’s 24 electric cooperatives in a round table discussion at Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives in Columbus last week to express approval for the Environmental Protective Agency’s new ACE Rule which replaces the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan (CPP) which had strict regulations that would have hurt the energy industries according to officials.
The new ACE rule officially presented and signed last week in a meeting with about a hundred federal, state and local players in the power industry, gives states the primary authority to determine what is best for power plants within their jurisdiction. It establishes emission guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit carbon dioxide at their coal-fired power plants. It also gives states more flexibility and looks at each power plant individually to determine environmental impacts and its potential lifespan, rather than regulating each plant based on the same data.
“We expect ACE to reduce sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and particulate-matter emissions. EPA projects that ACE will result in annual net benefits of anywhere from $120 million to $730 million,” said U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler.
Buckeye Power, the wholesale power provider for North Central Electric and the other Ohio cooperatives, co-owns and operates the Cardinal Power Plant in Brilliant, Ohio. Ohio cooperatives have invested more than $1 billion in state-of-the-art upgrades at Cardinal, currently making it one of the cleanest coal-burning power plants in the world.
The EPA has outlined a three-step process for states to follow under the ACE rule, which includes the EPA providing standards for emission reduction, and the state and EPA working together within a three-year timeframe to approve a plan for plants within the state to meet those standards.
North Central Electric Cooperative Trustee, Nick Wagner spoke to the affordability for cooperative members during his portion of the panel, noting the importance of keeping costs as low as possible for members who often struggle to pay their bills.
“We rely on common sense policies from our government to allow us to keep those bills as affordable as possible,” Wagner said. “To me, it seems the Affordable Clean Energy rule does that.”
Under the CPP, cooperative members would have seen a significant cost increase to the price of power – a cost most rural Americans would have found difficult to pay. Under the ACE rule, however, costs will remain steady while still supporting advancements in energy diversity, including the continued exploration of renewable resources like wind and solar energy production.
Also in attendance were representatives from the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, Cardinal Power Plant, AEP, the Ohio Coal Association, the Ohio EPA, and Ohio’s Electric Cooperatives.
ABOUT NORTH CENTRAL ELECTRIC
North Central Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a non-profit electric distribution cooperative serving the nearly 9,600 members in Crawford, Hancock, Huron, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Wood and Wyandot counties in north central Ohio since 1936. We maintain about 1,800 miles of underground and overhead lines as well as 12 substations and one metering point. We are united as Federated Energy Services which also includes Lorain -Medina Rural Electric Cooperative which serves more than 16,000 consumers in Ashland, Huron, Lorain, Medina and Wayne counties in north east Ohio and maintains 1,500 miles of lines as well as 15 substations for over 80 years. Our Power is supplied by Buckeye Power: The wholesale power supplier serving 1 million consumer-members in 77 of Ohio’s 88 counties. We are also a proud Touchstone Energy Cooperative, an alliance of more than 750 electric cooperatives across the nation.