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VIEWPOINT A call to action.coop Volume 55, No. 12 September 2013 Contact us: www.ohioruralelectric.coop BY A N T H O N Y J. A H E R N ELECTRIC COOPERATIVES have a history of speaking out on issues of critical importance. This speaking out is sometimes done by cooperative trustees and employees. But sometimes action by the whole cooperative community is necessary. That time is about to occur — a call to action is on the horizon. Last month in this space I wrote about President Obama’s directive for the Environmental Protection Agency to issue rules limiting carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions from new and existing sources, such as the coal-fired power plants that provide power for more than half of the country’s cooperative members. Will the rules allow new coal plants to be built? Will the rules allow the survival of existing coal plants — especially ones like our Cardinal Plant units where we’ve invested $ 1 billion to meet air quality standards? At this time we don’t know what the new rules will be. The final rules for new units are due this September, and they are likely to foretell the rules for existing units that will follow later. It is important to realize that although legal authority to issue such rules does stem from the Clean Air Act, the new rules will essentially set national energy policy because any rule that limits CO 2 is in essence one that will limit the use of coal, oil and natural gas. Your cooperative leaders in Ohio, and across the country, are preparing to do whatever they can to ensure that the EPA’s rules don’t undermine the reliable electric system that has been built up over the last three quarters of a century. But they will need your help — your voice. We will do our best to inform you about what the CO 2 rules, and any other energy related rules, mean for you. Right now all that is being asked is for you to take a few minutes to visit the new website www.action.coop. The site has a short video offering a look at what America’s cooperatives stand for — affordable electricity for all Americans. There are voices who would like to see coal-fired power plants shut down, no matter what it does to the reliability and affordability of electricity. We need your help to combat this. Please visit the site and join the call to action effort. More than 40 million people are served by electric cooperatives. Collectively, our voices can make a difference in the debate about our nation’s energy future. 2 COUNTRY LIVING • SEPTEMBER 2013 Anthony Ahern John Howley Rich Warren Chris Hall Bernice Mattison Nikki Heath Adam Specht Margie Wuebker Chip Gross President & CEO Dir. of Comm. Managing Editor Art & Prod. Manager Publications Coord. Graphic Artist Comm. Specialist Food Editor Outdoors Editor COUNTRY LIVING (ISSN 0747-0592) is the official publication of Ohio Rural Electric Co- operatives, Inc. With a paid circulation of 294,786, it is the monthly communication link between the rural elec tric cooperatives in Ohio and West Virginia and their members. Subscription price: $4.30 to $6.50 per year to co-op members; $12 per year to nonmem- bers. Nothing in this publication may be re- produced in any manner without specific written permission from Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc. All rights reserved. Alliance for Audited Media Member National advertising representatives: NATIONAL COUNTRY MARKET, 800-NCM-1181 State advertising representatives: Sandy Woolard 614-403-1653 Tim Dickes 614-855-5226 The fact that a product is advertised in Country Living should not be taken as an endorsement. If you find an ad- vertisement misleading or a product unsatisfactory, please notify us or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, Consumer Protection Section, 30 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215, or call 1-800-282-0515. Cooperative members — Please report any change of address to your local electric cooperative. Periodicals postage paid at Columbus, OH and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to editorial and advertising offices at: 6677 Busch Boulevard Columbus, OH 43229-1101 Telephone — 614-846-5757 Serving on the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperatives, Inc., Board of Trustees are George Brake, chairman; Dennis W. Schindler, vice chairman; Jack Schmidt, secretary/treasurer; Stephen Huff, Paul Berridge, Thomas McQuiston, Robert McCort, Donald McCracken, Jack L. Kitchel, Daniel McNaull, Robert E. Wise, Shirley J. Stutz, David Corbin, Barry Jolliff, Warren Taylor, James R. McConnell, Gene McCluer, Mitch Headley, John Saxton, Edward P. Sanders, Harold E. Cooper, Larry Weirich, Jeff Wilson and David P. Miller. Anthony J. Ahern, president; Kurt Helfrich, counsel.