News Briefs

Slam the door on scammers by being a cautious consumer

    Don’t be tricked into paying a bill you don’t owe. Phony debt collection attempts rank among the most…

Mississippians shine when it comes to charitable giving

    Mississippians dig deeper in their pockets when it comes to giving. We always rank high in national surveys…

Of memories and thanksgiving

We are always reminded to “live in the moment” and “make the most of each day.” And, that is certainly…

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Electric cooperatives applaud U.S. Supreme Court action

     A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to halt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan is good news for all electric cooperative members in America, including you.
    The EPA’s plan is an incredibly complex scheme that could endanger the reliable electric service you now enjoy. And despite claims from the EPA, aspects of this plan would undoubtedly increase your monthly electric bills. Part of the cost increases would come from prematurely shutting down coal-fired power plants that are in good working condition.
    In my column last month, I explained how electric power associations and their members work together to represent members’ interests at all levels of government. Over the past two years, your electric power association and other electric cooperatives across the country have been urging the EPA to step back and develop a plan that is more achievable and affordable than the Clean Power Plan.
    Jeffrey Conner, interim CEO of the National Electric Cooperative Association, called the current plan a “huge overreach of EPA’s legal authority” that threatens cooperatives’ ability to provide affordable and reliable electricity.
    Electric cooperative members and advocates across the country came together in a grassroots effort to let the EPA know of their objections to these rules. Together they submitted more than 1.2 million comments to the EPA.
    The EPA charged ahead anyway and finalized the plan, only to eventually hit a legal brick wall with this recent Supreme Court ruling to halt its implementation. A decision in this case may come later this year or in early 2017.
    Grassroots efforts that unite electric cooperative advocates in protesting harmful legislation and regulation have effectively served electric power association members throughout our history. It was, after all, a rural grassroots effort that created electric power associations: Farmers wanted electric service they could obtain no other way than by forming their own electric cooperatives.
    Even now, more than 80 years later, electric cooperatives and their members are a powerful force in protecting the affordability and reliability of their electric service. Just last year, for example, electric cooperatives’ grassroots efforts addressed monopoly pricing by railroads, cybersecurity, solutions to protect wildlife and energy efficiency.
    Our grassroots work on your behalf will never go out of style.
    Mississippi’s 26 electric power associations, their directors, staff and members are to be commended in working together to make sure your voice is heard by elected officials. As I explained last month, it is up to us to inform them when their legislative proposals may impact your electric service. They listen, too, especially when you take part in the process by writing or talking with those who represent your area of Mississippi.
    We can help with that. You can find the Electric Power Associations of Mississippi 2016 Legislative App and our 2016 Legislative Roster at Click on Government Relations and then General Information to reach both of these helpful free products.
    To learn more about electric cooperatives’ grassroots efforts on the national level, visit the Cooperative Action Network website at

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