The Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives plans to deliver 75,000 postcards to the offices of Iowa’s two U.S. Senators today. Association spokesman, Alan Urlis, says they’re delivering the cards as debate is scheduled to being on the American Clean Energy and Security Act. One of the key provisions of the bill is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions under what’s called “cap-and-trade.”
Urlis says the postcards were signed by co-op members and they want Senators Grassley and Harkin to know about their concerns about the affordability of electric bills with the passage of the “cap-and-trade” bill. He says they want to be sure that emission controls are fair to the midwest. Urlis says the midwest faces the potential of much higher penalties than other areas of the country.
He says a larger portion of the electricity in the midwest is produced at coal fired plants, and there is less nuclear and hydroelectric energy than there is on the east and west coasts. Urlis says the midwest would end up paying an “unfair” amount under “cap-and-trade” compared to those other areas. Urlis says the association is in favor of using more renewable energy.
Urlis says there needs to be a balanced approach to all sources of energy from coal, to solar to nuclear. And he says the approach has to be able to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide that’s being released into the atmosphere. Urlis says it’s particularly important for Iowa’s elected leaders to watch out for the midwest as the cost of the bill is unknown. Urlis says the cost estimates the increase in electric costs start at the cost of a postage stamp.
He says on the other end of the spectrum, the Heritage Foundation says it would be more than four-thosuand dollars a year, while the Treasury Department says the increased energy cost would be $1,700 a year. Urlis says representatives of the electric co-ops will be in Washington, D.C. today to talk with legislators about the bill.