Varied energy sources key to state’s affordable electricity

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Dear Editor,

As the owner of my own heating and cooling business, I have firsthand knowledge of how harsh this winter was for homeowners. And while extended periods of cold weather like we’ve experienced are good for my business, it also concerns me for many in the community that I know struggle to pay for basic needs like food and electricity.

But hearing from my customers during the last few months, the effects of our cold winter didn’t take a huge toll on their family budgets. As it turns out, and as I tell my customers, our electricity comes from a variety of sources – primarily coal and natural gas – that helps to keep our rates stable year round.

It’s no coincidence that states like ours, that aren’t too reliant on just one main source of energy generation, do the best job of protecting ratepayers from the risk of “sticker shock” when our monthly electricity bill arrives. But we have to make sure increased regulations from the EPA don’t impact our state, and the affordability of our electricity, in a negative way.

The EPA, by regulating coal and gas power plants, could force us to use more expensive forms of energy. But continuing to use American coal and natural gas that is produced right here in Louisiana is one of the best ways to keep our electricity rates affordable regardless of the temperature. As we think about how we’re producing reliable and affordable electricity for future generations, it’s important that the EPA not hinder our ability to use these resources.

Michael Smith,

Small business owner,

Shreveport, La.