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On Wednesday, Greg Mullis, Senior Vice President, Vice President of Energy Services at Tri-County, spoke on behalf of cooperative members at the EPA listening sessions in Atlanta. Mullis and other members on the utility industry are urging the EPA to reconsider the proposed Clean Air Act and to take into account the effect it will have the cost of electricity. Mullis's remarks are below. Tell the EPA what you think about the proposed regulations at

Remarks to the EPA from Greg Mullis, Tri-County EMC

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

We provide electrical service to over 21,000 accounts in middle Georgia. We are a largely residential, rural cooperative.

Like the nearly 900 other electric cooperatives in the nation, we are a not-for-profit, community-based organization owned and governed by our member owners. Collectively, cooperatives provide service to 4.5 million Georgians and 42 million people nationwide.

Our responsibility is to provide our consumers with safe, reliable, and affordable power.

The issues I will address today impact not only cooperatives in Georgia, but all the utilities in our state. The homes and businesses we serve are already struggling to make ends meet. They now face the possibility of higher energy bills and higher costs for all other goods and services.

Under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, Georgia is being asked to share an unfair portion of the burden. The state’s reduction goals are far more stringent that other states that have done far less in terms of CO2 reductions.

Georgia is further being punished by the EPA for our financial investment to build new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle. Georgia had foresight and took the initiative to build one of the country's first new nuclear units in decades, generation that will be zero-emission. Our state’s electric utilities – including Tri-County EMC – and our consumers will spend roughly $14 billion to build two new nuclear units, but the EPA’s goal for Georgia does not account for that investment, and requires a 30% reduction in emissions on top of what we’ve already accomplished.

Under this plan, Georgia will be required to make the 6th largest CO2 reduction. We are being penalized for taking significant early action. This is bad policy and unfair treatment.

Our members, particularly low and medium income households, need a break, not punitive regulations that will break our economy. while doing very little to impact the climate. The communities we serve need to grow jobs. One community we serve has lost nearly 30% of it’s jobs—quality industrial or manufacturing jobs—to the poor economy and overseas competition. These regulations will make those job much harder to replace.

We are committed to our members. And to our communities. Cooperatives brought electricity to rural America in the 1930s. The same innovation that brought light to darkness and dramatically improved quality of life 75 years ago also led to the formation of GreenPower EMC. It was Georgia's electric cooperatives that introduced the state's first utility Green e certified renewable energy program.

Our motivation is not profit. It is the well being of our members. I urge you to withdraw this proposal and work with us on a new, common sense approach, that will be a true “All-of-the Above” energy strategy.

Thank you for the opportunity to speak today.

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