Cap and Trade Could Impact Utility Bills

A story out of Iowa reports on how the proposed cap and trade legislation could impact energy bills in the Midwest.

It’s supposed to be good for the environment, but some say it could cause a big hike in your energy bills. The American Clean Energy Act is designed to reduce green house gas emissions by creating a national limit or cap.

It would allow companies to buy, sell or trade their emission credits. However, Iowa energy companies say you’re the one who will pay.

“We don’t think that’s fair for customers. Whenever we see something like that that would adversely affect customers we are very aggressive,” says Dean Crist of MidAmerican Energy.

Iowa energy companies say the cap and trade system is unfair for providers in Iowa because of how we make our energy.

“The way the allotment is set up right now it harms utilities in the upper Midwest, like those that heavily rely on coal,” says Scott Drzycimski of Alliant Energy.

Coal causes more pollution than other kinds of energy. MidAmerican says they would reach the cap at 50 percent of their output, requiring them to buy $280 million dollars in credits.

Wisconsin, like Iowa, is extremely reliant on coal for energy generation.  In Wisconsin, over two-thirds of the power plants are fueled by coal.  Cap and Trade could prove detrimental to a state not only  reliant on coal, but an economy with a heavy manufacturing base.

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