Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), released the following statement in response to the testimony of EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy before the House Energy & Commerce Committee this morning; and in light of recent press leaks of the Administration’s proposed regulations governing carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants.

“NRECA and its member co-ops are disappointed to learn that the Administration has abandoned its “all-of- the-above” energy strategy and embraced an “all-but-one” approach that restricts the future use of coal to generate affordable electricity. The anticipated regulations are reported to require any new coal-burning facility to capture and store carbon dioxide, a prohibitively expensive technology that is not commercially viable.

“In doing so, the Administration is gambling with the economic well-being of future generations and our nation’s economy. As not-for-profit, consumer-owned utilities, electric co-ops are deeply concerned about maintaining affordable, reliable electricity. It’s worth noting that residents of rural communities already spend more per capita on energy than anywhere else.

“NRECA urges the Administration to reconsider this proposal and focus on working with co-ops as we continue to reduce power plant emissions, increase efficiency and develop affordable new technologies. Together, we can improve both the environment and the quality of life for future generations.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives, which provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.