Rural Missouri - January 2014 - (Page 4)
C O M M E N T S
"Devoted to the rural
way of life"
Clark to lead AMEC board
Volume 66 / Number 1
EPA regulations top co-op issues, new president says
arry Clark is one electric cooperative director who still can
remember the day the lights
came on. "It was April of 1952,
and I was four years old," recalls Clark,
a director for Lewis County Rural Electric Cooperative. "I was old enough
to remember what my mom and dad
went through without it."
Now the president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives,
Larry calls on his appreciation for the
cooperative business model in leading
the statewide organization for Missouri's 48 electric cooperatives.
Though the land where Larry still
lives and farms with his two sons was
just a stone's throw from the city limits of Edina, the private power company that served the town wouldn't
extend power down the road to the
Clarks - unless they were willing to
pay $1,500 for the line extension.
photo by Jim McCarty
In time, Lewis County Electric
Lewis County Rural Electric Director Larry Clark, a farmer from Edina, is the new
brought service without the hefty
president of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives. He cites proposed EPA
charge. Larry's father bought a used
regulations that could increase electric bills as the No. 1 issue electric co-ops face.
electric milker, and the farm became
much more productive. He also
it is rather naive to think that coal is just going to sit there
upgraded the Maytag wringer washer, replacing the appliand not be used elsewhere in the world. It will instead go
ance's kickstart gas engine with an electric motor.
into hands that will use it to put us at an economic disadLarry also can remember the time in 1972 - not long
after he and his wife, Cleva, married - when the couple
A devoted conservationist himself, Larry says he's proud
struggled to pay their electric bill. "It was $17, and I looked
of the environmental record of the state's electric cooperaat my wife and said, 'How in the world are we ever going
tives, which includes more than $1 billion spent on emisto pay this?'"
sion controls, buying the entire output of five wind farms
While finances improved for the Clarks, Larry knows
and investing millions into an energy-efficiency campaign
there are families around the state who make similar tough
that has reduced the need for enough electricity to power
financial choices every month. That's why he promotes the
65,000 homes for a year during the life of the program.
electric co-op effort that asks members to send messages to
But, he says coal remains critical to the supply of affordthe Environmental Protection Agency urging them to supable and reliable electricity. "When people learn what's at
port the continued use of coal to generate electricity.
stake, they get interested," he says of the issue. "But unfor"We truly do have people on our system who have to
tunately, I think people have the idea that it won't affect
make the decision to buy food or pay their electric bills,"
them. The greatest thing I can say right now is sign one of
he says. "The proposed EPA regulations would have a sigthose cards or send those emails. With your help, we will
nificant impact on all of us."
succeed on this issue."
At stake is the low-cost generation fueled by coal that
accounts for 80 percent of the electricity used by electric
To speak out on the EPA issue, visit www.action.coop where
co-op members in Missouri.
you can send an email encouraging EPA to work with electric
"This country has the largest coal reserves in the world,"
cooperatives on a common-sense solution that will protect elecClark says. "I just cannot understand why it is such a chaltric bills from steep hikes; or contact your electric co-op.
lenge to use that great resource. Because if we don't use it,
Newton joins Rural Missouri staff
aul Newton recently joined the Rural Missouri staff as its new field editor. Paul
is a 2008 graduate of Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Ky.,
where he earned a degree in photojournalism. He comes to us from the Southern Illinoisan newspaper based in Carbondale, Ill.
At the newspaper, he was a staff photographer and later served as the newspaper's
director of visuals.
Paul has journalism in his veins, having grown up in a family of newspaper publishers. His parents own the Galena Gazette in Galena, Ill. He worked at the family's weekly
newspaper from 1999 to 2007, serving as a reporter, photographer and page designer.
He's also served as a visiting faculty member at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale's South of 64 Photo Workshop, where he led collaborative coaching sessions with
Please join us in welcoming Paul to the Rural Missouri team. He may be contacted at
Jim McCarty, editor
Jason Jenkins, managing editor
Heather Berry, associate editor
Paul Newton, field editor
Megan Backes, editorial assistant
Mary Davis, production manager
Co-op page designers
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2014
Rural Missouri - January 2014
Healing on horses
Out of the Way Eats
For the birds
Hearth and Home
The company behind the meter
Rural Missouri - January 2014