The current climate change legislation introduced by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) is extremely unfair to Iowa, and the Midwest in particular. In a review of the pending climate change legislation (HR2454 and S1733), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently published a report that finds because the Midwest relies more heavily on affordable, coal-fired generation, the Midwest will end up paying more than its fair share to help protect the environment. And California and Massachusetts, where the authors of the bill live and represent, will pay much less because those states are less reliant on coal generation due to their geographical location.
In addition, this legislation contains no cost containment features or ceiling cap provisions. Even more shocking is an economic analysis that estimates the price of gasoline could increase 77 cents per gallon or an additional $800 per year for a family using 20 gallons of gasoline per week.
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative anticipates that electricity rates and other sources of energy will increase substantially due to this federal legislation and our board of directors and employee team clearly understands that the cost of energy affects household budgets, area businesses and local Iowa communities.
Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative will continue our efforts to inform Iowa's U.S. senators and congressmen about this regional disparity and how the current legislation will adversely impact those in the communities we serve. Recently, Iowa's cooperative member-owners delivered more than 75,000 cards to Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin asking them to ensure that any energy legislation passed is fair and affordable. I sincerely thank everyone who participated for their help on this critical issue. Together, we can help Congress find a balanced energy solution to the concerns about climate change while, at the same time, protecting our environment against unfair legislation and rising energy costs.
Terry L. Bruns, CPA
President/CEO Iowa Lakes Electric Cooperative