There’s an ongoing battle by the National Rural Electric Coop Association in Washington D.C. on the EPA’s new power plant rule. Don McQuitty of Missouri sits on the Association’s board and it opposes the regulations, which aims to reduce power plant emissions nationwide 30% by 2030.
McQuitty said Missouri’s electric rates are more affordable than other states.
“I was on Wall Street a few years back and the gentleman who was questioning us about our bond rating was challenging us on our ability to raise rates and to be able to pay our bills because we are a cooperative and we’re not regulated by the Public Service Commission. I looked at him and said ‘How much a kilowatt hour do you pay?’ He said 26-cents. I think Missouri’s average customer pays 9-cents,” said McQuitty.
Opponents say the new rule would result in much higher electric bills. McQuitty says coal is an important factor in lower rates.
“We forget when people who had to milk cows and do the work we had to do in agriculture didn’t have the luxury of having all the power they wanted,” said McQuitty. “We do now and it’s lost cost. We are predominantly coal-fired. I even worked in the coal mines down in Randolph and Chariton Counties. I fully understand the importance of those jobs and the importance of coal.”
Kansas and 14 other states are suing the EPA because of the new rule. Missouri’s Attorney General wouldn’t say if he will join the effort. Chris Koster says he will begin a thorough review of the issues immediately.