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The following is a special guest blog by Jo Ann Emerson, CEO of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

More than 600 pages plus another 1,000 of supporting documents. That’s the length of the latest EPA proposal. It would use the Clean Air Act (only 465 pages) to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the power plants on which we rely today and impose new costs on energy consumers.

Jo Ann Emerson

At its core, the EPA’s proposal leaves electric cooperative member-owners holding the keys to fully functional power plants that have been shut down by Washington bureaucrats. Rather than picking winners and losers, the EPA should go back to the drawing board and work with us on common-sense solutions.

America’s Electric Cooperatives are dedicated to keeping electricity affordable and reliable for our 42 million member-owners across the nation. Together, co-ops serve 93 percent of the persistent poverty counties in America – those communities who can least afford to pay more each month.  We cannot allow them to get lost in the pages and pages of this EPA proposal.

Much has been written about the legality, feasibility and complexity of this rule, but its true danger lurks just below the surface. Lost in the shuffle of thousands of pages is the impact this rule will have on the American people – in the form of new mandates, higher costs, restrictions on energy choices, and tremendous uncertainty for communities and consumers. How much will electric bills increase? Will manufacturers relocate? How many jobs will be lost? Which power plants will be forced to shut down?

That’s a lot of difficult questions – especially when the total global CO2 reductions barely move the needle. But we’re asking important questions because the EPA’s shortsighted plan stands to adversely impact millions of Americans.

That’s why we keep reminding the bureaucrats in Washington, DC, that the rules they write impact real people in the real world – where we live. That’s why we’ve encouraged everyone to take 30 seconds to speak out at and tell the EPA we cannot afford these regulations.

Nearly 800,000 Americans have already joined in this effort, and thousands more sign up each day. Together, we can remind regulators and lawmakers that the impact of new rules and laws on us in the real world should be their first thought, not their last. Join us and sign up today at