The following are legislative issues currently being considered that could affect your cooperative. Find out what the issues are about and how your cooperative could be affected by them by clicking on them.

Planning and Paying for Nuclear Waste
Nuclear power accounts for 15% of electric cooperative power supply. It is always available, solidly reliable, and emits no carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas blamed for contributing to climate change. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. With all of the perks of nuclear power comes a major headache: what to do with high-level radioactive waste. Click here for full article.
Carbon Emissions
Concentrated carbon makes up the fossil fuels we use to produce approximately 70 percent of our nation’s electricity (primarily coal and natural gas). When those products are burned, carbon combines with oxygen and gets released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide are currently at 390 parts per million and climbing, with some projections estimating 450 parts per million by 2040. As result, carbon dioxide is considered a “greenhouse gas” blamed for contributing to climate change. Click here for full article.
Clean Air Act
The increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, blamed for global climate change, comes from a wide variety of sources around the world. Addressing that global issue requires a national and international response, however, the Clean Air Act was enacted to control pollutants on a local and regional scale that cause direct health and environmental effects. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association’s position is that the Clean Air Act is the wrong tool for the job of addressing climate change, and Congress should step in. Click here for more details.
Energy Efficiency
Energy efficiency comes naturally to electric cooperatives. The not-for-profit business model encourages cooperatives to use all cost-effective methods of distributing electricity efficiently as possible. Click here for information on how legislation affects this issue.
Renewable Energy

Article 1:

Cooperatives own and operate about 1,000 MW of renewable projects utilizing biomass, wind, solar, and small-scale hydro power. 750 rural electric systems, including Access Energy Cooperative offer green power to their members. We are doing everything we can to make renewable power a viable part of our energy mix, but there are very real hurdles to overcome before that 11% can become 15, 20, or 25% in coming years. Click here for full article.

Article 2:

A recent study examined the current grid serving the eastern half of the country against goals like the renewable energy standard. The study concluded that if the “U.S. wants to get 20 percent of its electricity from renewable [resources] by 2024, … it would be necessary to build a new electricity circulatory system, including 15,000 circuit miles of extremely high voltage lines.” Such a system would cost up to $100 billion. Click here for full article.

Assigned Service Areas
In Iowa, electric utilities have assigned service areas in which they are exclusive provider of electric service. This system has become a national model for efficient, coordinated delivery of safe and reliable electric service. Find out here how this reliable system could be in jeopardy.
The storm events of December 2009 and January 2010 caused the most damage of any winter storms in recent history, eclipsing the damage caused by the two storm events in 2007. The preliminary storm damage estimate provided to the President in 2007 for purposes of obtaining the federal disaster declaration was approximately $33 million. Ultimately, the total actual cost of repairing the 2007 storm damage will exceed $100 million. Click here to find out how this concern is affected by legislation.
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