Clay Electric personnel continues efforts Wednesday evening, July 7, to restore service to members who were impacted by Tropical Storm Elsa. As of 8 p.m., 1,836 members remained... Continue Reading ›

Clay Electric Cooperative is grieving for a lost friend and co-worker. Lineworker William “Ziggy” Ziegenfelder, 56, passed away while working in the co-op's Gainesville service... Continue Reading ›

Vehicles from our fleet are currently up for auction online and more will be available in the coming weeks. Three auctions will take place; two will feature small fleet vehicles... Continue Reading ›

A forecast team from Colorado State University has predicted an above-average level of activity in the Atlantic basin this hurricane season. The CSU Tropical Meteorology... Continue Reading ›

The 83rd Annual Meeting video report is now available. You’ll hear remarks from the president of the Board of Trustees, Susan Reeves; General Manager Ricky Davis' report; and the... Continue Reading ›

Due to ongoing concerns surrounding the spread of coronavirus, the co-op has made the difficult decision to cancel the gathering portion of Annual Meeting for the second year in a... Continue Reading ›

NRECA joins effort to have Supreme Court halt EPA power plan

(ARLINGTON, Va. Jan. 27) — The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) has joined utilities and 29 states and state agencies in petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to halt implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan. The D.C. Circuit last week denied multiple requests to stay the rule, which already is inflicting harm on electric co-ops.

The NRECA is the national service organization that represents the nation’s more than 900 private, not-for-profit, consumer-owned electric cooperatives.

“EPA itself predicts the closure or curtailment—this year—of many coal-fired power plants that would remain online absent the rule,” said Kirk Johnson, NRECA senior vice president of government relations. “If that doesn’t meet the judicial criteria for ‘immediate and irreparable harm’ required to trigger a stay, what does?”

NRECA and other petitioners said that for each power plant retired or curtailed, co-ops and other utilities must carefully plan and implement changes to the electric system to replace the lost generation—requiring a very significant outlay of expenses over the next few years. This will lead to lost jobs, economic harm to rural communities and unrecoverable costs where power plants are shut down before the end of their remaining useful life.

“As not-for-profits serving 93 percent of America’s persistent poverty counties, electric co-ops are especially concerned about the significant electric rate increases this would impose on some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens—families living on fixed incomes or in poverty,” said Johnson.

A $5 billion price tag for a single co-op

As an example, petitioners pointed to Basin Electric Power Cooperative, a not-for-profit regional wholesale electric generation and transmission cooperative that owns and/or operates 13 electric generating units in four western states that will be directly impacted by the rule.

Unless the court stays the rule and extends compliance dates, Basin Electric estimates it will have to spend about $330 million just in the next two years in costs attributed solely to complying with the rule. The co-op’s total compliance costs are projected to reach $5 billion.

NRECA has estimated that total compliance costs for electric cooperatives could reach as high as $28 billion over the 2022-2030 compliance period.

“Immediate and irreparable harm already is occurring—and will continue—unless the court halts the Clean Power Plan while separate litigation over its legality plays out,” said Johnson.

The nation’s more than 900 electric cooperatives provide service to 42 million people in 47 states.