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Senate's Proposed Cap and Trade Bill Worse than House Version

PRESS RELEASE 11-5-09 3:00pm
News Contact - Southern Illinois Power Cooperative
W. Scott Ramsey (CEO)
Diane Karnes-Communications Coordinator

The U.S. Senate’s Environmental & Public Works Committee passed the U.S. Senate’s version of the Cap and Trade Bill today (also known as the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act).

SIPC is very concerned over the vote this morning as it supports a cap and trade bill that is worse than the U.S. House version HR-2454 (American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009). The Senate version if eventually passed on the floor would require carbon-dioxide (CO2) removals of another 3% from 17% to 20% by 2020.

President and CEO of SIPC, W. Scott Ramsey said, “The removal percentages being discussed are misleading to Southern IL and the Midwest in general as they are national averages. Given the high dependence on coal and natural-gas power generation in Southern IL, SIPC faces the need to reduce CO2 by approximately 50% in the U.S. House version; however, the US. Senate version piles on another 3% creating a more burdensome cost.”

Under the U.S. House version SIPC estimated homeowners and businesses could be hit with increases by more than a $1,000 per year if CO2 allowance prices reach $50 or more. “The Senate version, approved out of Chairwoman Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) committee, did nothing to reduce our bottom line cost impacts if it eventually becomes law. The fact that the committee rushed to vote without accepting any amendments has sent the wrong message in my opinion. We must work on modifications which significantly lessen the bill’s impacts and strike a more balanced approach. The Midwest would be hammered with significant job losses if we rush such a bill into law now, in a recession surely we can do better than this,” said Ramsey.

SIPC provides transmission and generation services to a population of more than 200,000 people thru its member-owners Southern IL Electric Cooperative, Southeastern IL Electric Cooperative, Egyptian Electric Cooperative Association, Tri-County Electric Cooperative, Clinton County Electric Cooperative, and Monroe County Electric Cooperative. Wholesale contracts are provided to the Cities of Redbud, IL, and Mcleansboro, IL. Clay Electric Cooperative will join SIPC in 2010 as its seventh member-owner.

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