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Illinois Country Living

Co-op Members Ask Congress to Keep Energy Affordable

America has an energy crisis too big to ignore. Experts warn that unless we make more electricity available soon, some regions of the country may face power shortages within the next two years. And because of a number of economic and political factors, electric costs have climbed 40 percent since 2002 and are projected to go even higher.

Congressional leaders are also moving quickly to act on environmental regulation to address climate change that could increase the average co-op member’s bill by $10 to $100 a month. How big the increase will depend on the price added by a carbon tax or a cap and trade system that would be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. House leaders have indicated they intend to move swiftly on climate change legislation with the goal of moving a bill out of the Energy and Commerce Committee by Memorial Day.

“More members of Congress need to hear from their constituents, our co-op members, as they continue to work to find consensus on these national priorities,” says Glenn English, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Over the last year, co-op members have joined the Our Energy, Our FutureTM grassroots awareness campaign to educate elected officials on the need to craft energy policies that will support a diverse mix of power generation while keeping energy affordable. More than 1.56 million messages have been sent to Congress through the campaign, asking three simple questions:

1. How will Congress help us meet the rising future demand for electricity?

2. How will Congress support the development of technology needed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions?

3. How will Congress make sure electricity remains affordable?

Today we’re continuing our efforts with one key question: Is Congress willing to work with electric cooperatives to ensure we have reliable power at a price our consumers can afford?

It’s a simple question, one that can be answered with a resounding ‘Yes!’ or ‘No.’ The answer is critical to our future.

Ask your U.S. representatives and senators if they will work with electric cooperatives to develop policies that will keep electricity affordable. Co-ops were created to make safe, reliable and affordable electricity available for all Americans. We take our role seriously, and have resources in place to help lawmakers find ways to address our nation’s energy crisis without causing costs to rise beyond your means. We can find the right solution together.

Let Congress know where you stand in this critical debate. We thank those of you who have already started a dialogue with your elected officials through the campaign, and ask that you keep that conversation going.

Visit today, and tell your family and friends to do the same. We’ll all be impacted by future energy policy changes and now is the time to work together and take a stand for affordability. We simply can’t afford not to act.

© 2016 Illinois Country Living Magazine.
Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives

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