New EPA regs could affect rates

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is planning to release regulations to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at existing power plants. The result could be more expensive electricity for Coweta-Fayette EMC’s service area residents. This means less money in your pocket.

On July 29, the EPA held their first “listening session” in Atlanta. At the meeting, many electric cooperative and utility leaders from Georgia and other surrounding states voiced their deep concerns about the economic and other unintended consequences that the carbon dioxide emission regulations could bring about.

At Coweta-Fayette EMC, we believe that relying on diverse fuel sources for electric generation is the best way to keep electric bills affordable. Whether our electricity is generated using nuclear power, natural gas, coal, solar panels, landfill gas or hydro, we take our responsibility seriously to provide reliable and affordable electricity while doing our best to protect the environment.

We care about the price of electricity because we’re a not-for-profit electric co-op that looks out for our members and their checkbooks. We’re concerned that the EPA is making a decision that could force an increase in the cost of electricity and erode the reliability of our power supply.

What’s at stake? If electricity prices rise, we’re worried that the trickle-down effect could be severe in the counties we serve which are Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Fulton, Clayton, Meriwether, Spalding and Troup. Higher electricity prices created artificially due to mandated EPA actions and not as a result of true economic necessity would hurt businesses of all types, potentially leading to slower job growth or even loss of jobs.

The EPA published the new proposed rule to regulate carbon emissions in the Federal Register June 18, officially opening a 120-day public comment period. The EPA will be taking comments until the end of the comment period on Oct. 16.

That’s why we’re encouraging not only our members, but everyone in the region to speak up. Please visit www.Action.coop or www.TellEPA.com if you wish to tell the EPA officials in Washington, D.C. that we can’t afford more unreasonable regulations in Georgia which will result in higher electric bills.

Anthony H. Sinclair
President/CEO
Coweta-Fayette EMC

secret squirrel
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Electric rates and changing times

The "Chicken Littles" of the non-renewable/fossil fuel lobby and their loyal, right-wing minions, remind of the great outcry against automated elevator controls in the 20th Century. Yup, mean old progress meant that we no longer needed to pay for someone to sit in an elevator and ring you up to your floor. You could do it yourself. Even when the attendant would otherwise be at lunch and unavailable. Lots of jobs were lost in those days.

Fossil fuels are finite and limited. The environmental impacts aren't debatable. Be proactive and start the shift now and you save the pain later (notice we're on year 10 of those post-Katrina $3+/gallon gas prices). It only goes up, never down.

PTC Observer
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Secret Squirrel & Conditon55

You guys are really too much, you actually believe this stuff?

If you so confident that the numbers work so well, why do we need to subsidize "renewable energy"?

If it's so inexpensive, then people should rush to it, right? So, the Volt sold 8,000 units this year and that's with a hefty $7,000 payment from the government to entice you into buying one. The US produced 8 million cars in 2010 and of that amount, less than 1 million were hybrid electric, meaning they use gasoline/electric. Now each hybrid costs taxpayers $7,500 everytime someone like you buys one and they still can't sell enough of them to make money. So, why do they make them you might ask? Well, there are mandates on "fleet" mileage rates and the only way producers can meet these mandates (laws) is to sell a certain number of electric or Hybrid vehicles to bring down the overall mileage average for the offered fleets. Here's another fact that you seem to conveniently overlook, in order to get the mileage rates up, the car companies must use a lot of plastic, hydrocarbon derived plastics, yes that includes coal and petroleum. Oh yes, did I mention that the disposal of lithium Ion Batteries is going to be an environmental disaster of epic proportions? Do you know what goes into lithium ion batteries? Guess not, look it up.

If we want to have a viable economy that produces jobs we must have low energy costs let the market decide what the best course of human action should be taken. My guess is there are a lot fewer people out there that care about "clean environment" than people like you that want to force it down everyone's throat.

If we had everyone on the same page with those bad old fossil fuels, then there wouldn't be any need for government force. The fact that we have $3+ per gallon gasoline is just another indication of how screwed up the government has made energy production in the United States. The government has made it expensive and will continue to make all energy more expensive, it doesn't matter what form it comes in. After all paying off your political supporters can get expensive.

Now get out there and consume some fossil driven energy as you do everyday of your life, and take off those rose colored glasses.

conditon55
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Dogma of the quiet past

In 1776 world population was 800 million.
Now population is over 7 billion. In less than 300 years.

Coal powered the industrial revolution, the technology in a power plant is the same today as it was 120 years ago when the first one came on line.

The fact is that fossil fuels are systematically subsidized.

Why ? The coal company does not pay for clean up when the power plant goes end of life. That cost is paid by customers. Coal power plant clean up is on the order of billions of dollars.

How about the super fund sites for the coal ash ponds, like the one that broke the dyke in TN and ruined the homes nearby?

If coal wants to use economics as their argument for their product, then these cost, borne by the people need to go on to their balance sheets.

And do not worry about the coal and power company crying and whining. They did the same when the EPA forced them to put SO2 scrubbers on the stacks. Now they sell the sulphuric acid for profit.

Oil companies promised economic doomsday on the transition to lead free gas, and the same when they were made to pull the sulphur from diesel.

It is the same old story. Internalize the profits and externalize the costs. Stick it to the consumer.

Think about the change in global balance of power when no one ever buys anymore oil from Russia or the Middle East. You think that middle easterners haven't thought about it ? They have.

The guy who know more about how the demise of coal will play out is the coal company CEO. He is paid to understand it.

PTC Observer
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Subsidies

All subsidies should end, immediately. Including those for fossil fuels. Then deregulate the energy industry, abolish the Energy Department and the EPA. Allow property owners to protect their property from those that would spoil it. Then let the best energy source win. I'll just bet that it won't be "renewable" energy, which by the way is an oxymoron. Or do you believe in perpetual motion machines too?

Coal energy generation in Georgia is 62% of all energy generation in the state, it is also the least cost option today. How do you believe that costs will not go up for all Georgians if we take out of production all coal fired plants and replace them with a more expensive alternative? How is it that consumers of energy will not pay more for their electricity? How much investment costs will be borne by consumers in this conversion? Do you think these conversion costs will be small or do you think they will be in the billions of dollars?

Who wins in all this "conversion" power companies, politicians, suppliers of alternatives, oil companies that supply the natural gas, solar companies, wind turbine companies? Who pays more? And you say, it's coal that "sticking it to the consumer", yeah right.

You guys may have a "vision" of how things should be but I think I will trust individuals that make up a free market.

The Wedge
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The ugly little fact that seems to escape most

Over the past generation, the federal government and specifically the treasurer department have increased liquidity, credit, and cash into the US economy. How much of the high gas pricing is just because we have printed some much money that it has fueled massive inflation (make sure you don't take away energy and food like people like to do)? the overprinting money served the Weimar Republic a whole bunch of good, didn't it?

PTC Observer
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The Wedge - That too

Yes, and that too. The fact is that as long as the sources of energy are artificially constricted, giving a relative fixed supply, and there are more dollars being printed, you're absolutely correct, the more dollars it will take to buy a unit of energy.

Interestingly, when we had the Standard Oil Co. in America, each year the price of gasoline dropped because the supply exceeded demand every year. It was the neo-capitalists that couldn't compete with Standard Oil that ran off to the government for protection in the form of anti-monopoly laws.

In free markets there are no natural monopolies, the popular fear of monopoly is a contrivance by inefficient producers that pay off the politicians for laws to protect their incompetence. Politicians use this myth to perpetuate their re-elections, just as the environmental lobby does. Just follow the money, who's getting rich off this dung pile? At who's expense?

By the way, the only people that take out food and energy from the inflation figures are government economists. Real people that pay bills know a lot about actual inflation, including tax inflation.

conditon55
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Electricty rate drop using renwable fuels

Electricity rates drop using renewables like wind and solar. Why ? You do not buy the fuel. It is free. The sun shines and the wind blows. Georgia has huge wind resource available to be tapped directly off shore.

Does the sun shine on south Georgia ? You bet it does.

What is the problem with the new EPA regulations ?

It is one step closer to the final end of the coal business. All of that coal to be left in the ground unused, worthless? Why worthless? Because no one will want it any more.

Really? When was the last time you rubbed 2 sticks together to make fire?
The coal technology to boil water to make steam to turn a turbine to make electricity is obsolete as well.

And with the death of coal goes all the pollution that goes with it. Tell the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency, not the coal company protection agency, to proceed with the visionary proposed regulations.

AtHomeGym
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condition 55 & renewable fuels

And I suppose you think transmission lines just automatically appear--all for free!

The Wedge
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Nothing is free

Solar and wind power are large capital investments and have considerable annual costs for maintenance, repair, and operations. Additionally wind power requires 100% redundancy as it is variable and cannot be the primary source for a given large-scale system. And don't kid yourself. Every power plant whether gas turbine, nuclear, or coal of a large enough scale does the same thing--boils water to make steam and shoots it across turbine blades to spin them and create power through magnets and windings. All things certainly change but there is very few economical things that can release energy at the low cost of oil and coal. and I guess one last thing, do you really understand how alternating current is made and shipped across the country? Solar is DC that must be stored and converted in big nasty, environmentally unfriendly batteries :O sacre bleu! Wind Turbines are killing endangered raptors in areas that get great wind. There is always a tradeoff it seems

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