NACOGDOCHES- East Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. (ETEC) has today filed comments to the Environmental Protection Agency’s "Clean Power Plan” (Proposed Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources). ETEC filed comments on behalf of itself, its three member generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts)—Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NTEC), Sam Rayburn G&T Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SRG&T) and Tex-La Electric Cooperative of Texas, Inc. (Tex-La), and the ten (10) distribution members of these G&T cooperatives.
Edd Hargett, General Manager of ETEC, said, “Unfortunately, ETEC is currently facing a regulatory assault on its ability to provide economic power to the members of our cooperatives. Compliance with the proposed EPA regulations for power plant emissions are estimated to cost ETEC approximately $2.9 billion over a ten-year period from 2020 until 2030. Moreover, the compliance timelines proposed by EPA, especially the proposed interim deadline of 2020, do not provide sufficient time for utilities to either develop new, cleaner power resources or construct transmission to access alternative supplies."
"We are particularly concerned with the “Clean Power Plan’s” impact on our member- owners in rural East Texas, who are especially vulnerable to electricity price increases," noted Rick Tyler, General Manager of Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, who joined with ETEC in the EPA comment filing. "We estimate that the monthly rate impact to member-consumers will be $35–40 a month, or $420–$480 per year. This is an increase of approximately 30–35% over our members’ current electricity bills. This is a shockingly astronomical number for any electricity consumer anywhere in the United States, but it is particularly burdensome for our rural members, many of whom live on a fixed or very limited budget."
"To put the $2.9 billion number into context, it is more than double the current total assets of the ETCs," stated Hargett. “Our comments strongly urge EPA to consider, when formulating its final rule, the substantial cost increases on our rural ratepayers, those least able to afford it, as well as to consider the specific adjustments to the rule that ETEC suggests in our comments."
ETEC's complete comments are available through the EPA website.
As previously noted, ETEC made its comments to EPA on behalf of itself and its three member generation and transmission cooperatives (G&Ts)—Northeast Texas Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NTEC), Sam Rayburn G&T Electric Cooperative, Inc. (SRG&T) and Tex-La Electric Cooperative of Texas, Inc. (Tex-La), and the ten (10) distribution members of these G&T cooperatives. Collectively, the ETCs serve approximately 330,000 retail member-consumers in 46 counties ranging from just east of Dallas, to just north of Houston, with ETEC and its affiliated G&Ts owning over 1,270 MW (net) of generation assets valued at approximately $1.5 billion in three states—Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana—partially serving total member requirements of 7,000 GWh and 1,850 megawatts.
NTEC provides wholesale electric power to six distribution cooperatives: Bowie Cass Electric Cooperative, Deep East Electric Cooperative, Panola Harrison Electric Cooperative, Rusk County Electric Cooperative, Wood County Electric Cooperative, and Upshur Rural Electric Cooperative. Tex-La provides wholesale electric power to seven distribution cooperatives: Wood County Electric Cooperative, Rusk County Electric Cooperative, Deep East Electric Cooperative, Cherokee County Electric Cooperative Association, Houston County Electric Cooperative, Sam Houston Electric Cooperative, and Jasper Newton Electric Cooperative. SRG&T provides wholesale electric power to three distribution cooperatives: Houston County Electric Cooperative, Jasper Newton Electric Cooperative, and Sam Houston Electric Cooperative.
Kristy Ozmun Public Relations