There are usually two sides to every story. Quite often more than two sides. That makes decision making a difficult task, whether it’s parenting, voting, or complex business decisions. If you’ve every separated quarreling siblings, you know it’s no simple task discovering who instigated the fight. You listen to both parties, check the facts, and dispense justice – or something close to it.
The Environmental Protection Agency Clean Power Plan would essentially restructure the way that electricity is generated – local decisions would be made in Washington. As the EPA unveiled the proposed rule, they also quoted statistics stating that the cost of electricity would be lower in 2030 if the rule were adopted.
If you only consider the information that the EPA provides, you wouldn’t really understand why anyone would oppose a plan that purports to lower usage and fight climate change.
Unless, of course, you looked at another side of the issue.
Over the past decades, electric cooperatives across the nation have invested billions in emissions technologies and renewable energy sources. We’ve also led the way in energy efficiency efforts; what other industry pays you to use less.
The rule essentially eliminates coal as a generation source. To the EPA and proponents of the rule, that’s great. Yet, there is another side to the “war on coal”.
At a recent EPA hearing in Denver, Colorado, Moffat County (CO) Commissioner John Kinkaid shared the impact that coal has on his county. He began by discussing the natural beauty of his county and the tourism and recreational options available.
And then he discussed the financial impact of the EPA rule. The coal-fired plant in his county provides a financial impact of over $428 million each year to the local economy. The very same coal fired plant that co-exists with the residents and the mountains.
Residents of the county don’t want it closed. They don’t want local residents to lose good jobs. They don’t want their school systems to struggle for funding. They want to control their destiny – making the decisions that impact their future.
Moffat County is only one of many counties and towns impacted by the plan. Tens of thousands of families could see their lives upended for a rule that, on its face, looks like a good idea.
It all depends on your perspective.