The president of the Iowa Association of Electric Cooperatives says the E.P.A.’s use of the federal Clean Air Act to regulate carbon dioxide is one of the key issues being discussed by the national electric co-op association. Marion Denger is at the national association’s meeting in Atlanta.

Denger says the Clean Air Act was never designed to deal with carbon dioxide and he says there’s a bipartisan group in both the house and senate that has put some proposals ahead to try and stop the E.P.A. from acting on the issue. Denger says allowing the E.P.A. to do this raises too many questions.

He says they have no idea where the E.P.A. is coming from and they could require machinery on power plants to eliminate carbon dioxide, and there is a problem with finding that technology. Denger says the costs of implementing the changes would flow down to customers “And that’s not good.” Denger says the coops are trying to push a grassroots efforts to get customers to talk to their congressmen about the problem.

Denger says they should tell congress that E.P.A. should not use the Clean Air Act in this way and the legislators will hopefully come up with a better way to deal with the issue. Denger says this all comes about as it looks like the so-called “Can and Trade” clean air bill is not moving.

Denger says that climate change act appears stalled in congress and with all the other things happening, it doesn’t look like congress wants to take on this issue. Denger says the electric coops support a reasonable solution to the problem. Denger says whatever the plan is to charge for carbon credits, the money needs to be put back into research. He says there is an ample supply of fossil fuels, and they need to be used in a clean and reliable way, as he says they are stewards of the land also.

Denger is a farmer and also serves as president of the board of directors for Prairie Energy Cooperatives headquartered in Clarion. You can find out more about the electric co-ops’ stance at: www.ourenergy.coop