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26 June 2013

Georgia EMCs: Obama Proposals will Raise Light Bills for Low-income Residents

Yesterday, President Barack Obama told students gathered at Georgetown University that he's directing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to "put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants."

Georgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) say they're alarmed at the President's proposal and warn the Obama plan will result in higher light bills for low-income residents.

"The President's plan will hit co-op served families and businesses in Georgia awfully hard," said Paul Wood, President and CEO of Georgia EMC, the statewide trade association for electric co-ops. "Rural and suburban communities have been put through an economic wringer for the better part of a decade; they've made incredible sacrifices. What sense does it make for the President to pile on with this climate tax?"

EMCs are are privately owned businesses established to supply electricity to their member-owners. In other words, the people who receive power from the EMC own the EMC.

Georgia is home to 41 not-for-profit EMCs, which provide electric service to over 4.4 million Georgians across 73% of the state's land area.

Georgia EMC President and CEO Paul Wood says, "EMCs are about keeping electric bills affordable, providing underserved communities the power they need to improve their quality of life. The President's proposal will make electric power more expensive, causing families and businesses to sacrifice on top of all the other uncertainty in our national economy. Without question, electric bills will get bigger for the Americans who can least afford to pay them.

"If the President doesn't see the importance of affordable electric power, Georgia's co-ops will help bring it to his attention."