When electric cooperatives began to
spread across America 75 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made
the point that electricity in this country was no longer a luxury. It had
become, as it is today, a necessity.
In these difficult economic times, a
lot of Americans are struggling to make ends meet. As not-for-profit,
consumer-owned and controlled electric co-ops, we want to make certain
that each and every citizen in this country can continue to receive
affordable electric power. We want to make certain we don’t step back
from the commitment that FDR made.
Congress is currently working to
address issues related to climate change and debating federal mandates
regarding renewable energy development and energy efficiency. Even if
Congress doesn’t act, the U.S. Supreme Court has given the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency a green
light to put new rules curbing emissions of carbon dioxide from power
plants in place.
As a result of these efforts,
there’s little doubt electric bills are going to rise. The only question
is whether higher electric bills will be kept affordable.
Electric co-ops are dealing with a
very different situation than we have in the past. Electric bills will go
up because of the climate
change and energy policy decisions of U.S. senators and representatives on
Capitol Hill — or worse, unelected federal bureaucrats. Higher electric
bills will become the norm as we are all forced to comply with these
Electric cooperative representatives
are talking to our members of Congress, trying to convince them to work
with us to make sure that we not only deal with climate change, but do so
in a way that keeps electric bills affordable. To accomplish this goal, we
need your help.
Nationwide, 42 million consumers are
served by electric cooperatives. If every co-op consumer contacted their
senators and representatives, we could make a real impact on the final
shape of any energy or climate change legislation.
Over the last year, electric co-op
consumers have made their voices heard on keeping electric bills
affordable through the “Our Energy, Our Future” grassroots awareness
campaign. More than 1.6 million messages have been sent to Congress so far
— you can add to that list by visiting www.ourenergy.coop.
Let those who lead us in Washington
hear from you today. Together, we have the power to make a difference.