Rural Missouri - November 2013 - (Page 5)
Hart to Heart
Help win the war on rates
strategy. The president's plan would
Now EPA has released new rules
certainly end those benefits. Not only
that effectively prevent any new coalwill your bills increase dramatically,
fired power plants from being built.
but the reliability of the entire elecOur chief concern is that in 2014, the
ports cars. Jewelry. Yachts. A
tricity grid in Missouri could eventuagency will announce similar rules
mansion on the beach. These
directed at existing coal plants.
are all luxury items that some
The concept of electricity as a
This "all-but-one" energy policy -
of us might want, but few of us
luxury item has already become realwith coal being the "one" - replaces
can afford. Let's hope we don't have
ity in Germany, where misguided
sound business strategy that encourto add electricity to that list.
energy policy should
ages a balanced portfoElectric cooperatives nationwide
serve as a dire warning
lio of energy
are gearing up to
to Americans. Germany
make sure that
moved away from the
doesn't happen with
owned eleca goal of sending 1
generation we have in
million member mesTo watch a video on the
Missouri and the Midhas used a balsages with a common
fight for affordable rates,
west. The result has
theme - "protect
click this button inside our ance of coal,
been a disaster.
our rates" - to the
digital edition, online at
Germans now pay
the highest electricity
tection Agency (EPA).
rates in Europe. Electric
energy to ensure reliMembers, we need your help in
bills have doubled, and
ability and affordability.
this effort, just like we did when you
disconnects for nonYou have benefited
responded to the threats of cap-andpayment of electric bills
greatly from this "alltrade legislation and flooded our electaverage 300,000 a year.
ed officials with more than 650,000
Here's what's happening: In June,
"You can help win this war on rates. Join the
President Obama gave a speech at
Georgetown University where he
rest of Co-op Nation as we fight for affordable
promised new regulations directed
electricity at www.action.coop."
against power plants that use coal to
generate electricity. Of course, this
caught our attention, because 80 perBarry Hart
cent of the electricity you use comes
by Barry Hart
A study commissioned by the German government says electricity will
cost 40 cents a kilowatt-hour by 2020.
The situation is so bad German charity groups have coined a new term:
Back home, Missouri's U.S. Sen.
Roy Blunt has joined the fight to protect rates and reliability. In a recent
column, he wrote that nearly 40 million American families "earning less
than $30,000 a year already spend
almost 20 percent of their budgets on
energy costs. By putting in rules that
would, basically, ban the construction
of new coal plants, the EPA is punishing our nation's most vulnerable
families who suffer the most from bad
energy policy and higher utility bills."
You can help win this war on rates.
Join the rest of Co-op Nation as we
fight for affordable electricity at www.
action.coop. This grassroots website
will let you quickly and easily send a
message to the EPA that you are concerned about the consequences of this
Stand with us as we fight to keep
electric bills affordable. Tell the EPA
we need an "all-of-the-above" energy
Hart is the executive vice president of
the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives.
Reducing the regulatory burden
by U.S. Rep. Sam Graves
any of us who own small
businesses recognize that
the cost of federal regulations is unbearable -
and getting worse. Every day, it seems
there is some new requirement or yet
another new rule that makes it that
much harder to keep our businesses
operating, let alone expanding.
Remarkably, a recent study found
that regulatory burdens on Americans
increased by nearly $70 billion during
President Obama's first term in office,
with federal agencies imposing 131
new major regulations. In 2012 alone,
the administration issued $23.5 billion in new regulatory costs from 25
major rulemakings and issued 3,800
new final rules in total.
And more regulations are on the
way, including more than half of the
398 rules required by the Dodd-Frank
law that have yet to be written, as well
as additional regulations from the
president's health-care law.
As chairman of the House Small
Business Committee, I have made
scrutinizing federal regulations a
priority. One of the ways we have
done that is by being a resource to
small business owners about new and
forthcoming regulations. On Jan. 31,
we launched "Small Biz Reg Watch,"
an online initiative of the committee
to help small businesses across the
nation participate in the development
of federal regulations.
resource on the committee's website (smallbusiness.house.gov)
highlights key proposed
regulations that affect
small companies and
instructs business owners how to make comments to the federal
agency considering the
Most small businesses
do not have employees
who focus on regulatory compliance, nor do
they understand the rule-making process, so this initiative will help them
engage in how regulations are created.
Another item we have looked at is
the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA),
which requires federal agencies to
assess the economic impact of their
regulations on small
firms, and if significant,
consider less burdensome alternatives.
Although the law has
been on the books
for more than three
decades, agencies still
fail to fully comply
with the RFA's requirements.
That is why I introduced legislation called
the Regulatory Flexibility Improvements
Act of 2013 to protect
"Not all regulations are bad. But far too many
are burdensome, and the sheer sum of them is a
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves
small business from costly regulations. This legislation does not stop
new rules from being written, but it
creates a more transparent process so
there is a better understanding of the
consequence of regulations on those
who are forced to comply. This will,
in turn, ease compliance concerns
and result in better rules for everyone
We have 125 small business groups
from across the country on board
with our effort, and both the Small
Business and Judiciary committees
have reviewed and approved the bill. I
expect the House to act on this in the
Not all regulations are bad. But far
too many are burdensome, and the
sheer sum of them is a problem. There
is no question that small businesses
are struggling under the weight of
government mandates. To alleviate
this situation, let's call on Washington
to practice some restraint.
The economy will be better off, and
small businesses will have more room
to both grow and create jobs.
Graves represents Missouri's 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of
Representatives. He also chairs the House
Small Business Committee.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2013
Rural Missouri - November 2013
White mules and family wine
Helping our neighbors
A rolling tribute to freedom
Out of the Way Eats
Big man from a small town
Hearth and Home
Best of rural Missouri
Rural Missouri - November 2013