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      Tri-County Electric is asking for customer support

      Tri-County Electric Cooperative needs your support. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is yet again proposing new regulations that could drastically affect your rates.

      Tri-County's power producer, Associated Electric (AECI), located in Springfield, has continuously added costly equipment to their plant to meet the standards implemented by the EPA. AECI generates about 70% of energy with coal and about 15% with natural gas.

      The EPA has issued new proposed rules limiting the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of new coal and natural gas based power plants. Because of this, the administration has abandoned its "all-of-the-above" energy strategy and embraced an "all-but-one" approach that effectively prevents construction of new coal-based generation.

      With coal being the fuel source of 80-percent of the electricity used by Missourians, electric cooperatives across the state, such as Tri-County Electric, strongly oppose this shift. They believe the proposed rules should be withdrawn and are asking customers for their support.

      "All you got to do is go to," said Kevin Wheeler of Tri-County Electric. "It will ask you to put your name and what you are a member of, put Tri-County Electric Cooperative. What it does is send an email message on your behalf to the EPA. We're asking everybody to go out and do it. We've put it in our newsletter for the last five months and get everyone involved."

      Cooperatives support using a diverse fuel mix including renewables, natural gas, nuclear and coal to generate electricity. They support using demand response and energy efficiency to use that energy wisely and keep costs affordable. Cooperatives also continue to deploy new technologies and are researching even more cutting edge technologies to meet the energy needs of the future.