Co-ops invest in more than coal

Monday, June 18, 2007 | 12:50 a.m. CDT; updated 9:29 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

I am surprised the Missourian would publish the June 4 National View editorial from The Washington Post criticizing the Rural Utility Service, which makes loans to electric cooperatives, without first checking the facts. The editorial claims: “with coal abundant and cheap, and without the tax incentives that are given to other utilities, such co-ops have little incentive to invest in alternative forms of energy.” That’s just not true. Electric cooperatives in Missouri made possible the state’s only wind energy projects when they agreed to buy the output and made the necessary connections to the grid that will move this power to where it’s needed. The Missourian has featured these projects in the past. Columbia residents will also benefit from the power produced at these sites. The issue isn’t whether or not electric cooperatives will act to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The real issue is how can this be done with as little pain to consumers and the economy as possible.

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