CHEC Hot Watts June 2024

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Impacts of the Latest EPA Rulings

Providing reliable, affordable, and responsible energy is the mission of our three-tiered system. On April 25, the EPA announced four final rules to regulate power plants that establish tightened standards for greenhouse gas emissions, mercury and air toxins, wastewater and coal ash. The greenhouse gas rule requires significant investment in new technologies by 2032 to continue operations.

How does this impact CHEC’s members?

CHEC is a distribution cooperative. This means we distribute electricity from the substations to the end user – our members. The power we distribute comes from our three-tiered system which includes power generation from AECI, which is then transmitted to the substations by KAMO Power. Although CHEC does not operate power plants, the EPA regulations do impact AECI – our power source.

Coal-fired generation plants will be required to either co-fire 40% with natural gas by 2030 and then retire the asset by 2039 or install carbon capture and storage by 2032. New baseload natural gas-fired generation must also capture 90% of their carbon emissions by 2032.

These types of rules erode power suppliers the ability to maintain reliable and affordable power, making it bad for member-consumers, businesses, our economy, and our nation. The electric cooperatives across the nation, as well as other electric utility providers, believe the final rules from the EPA are unlawful, exceed the EPA’s authority, and disregard Supreme Court rulings. Carbon capture and sequestration have not been adequately demonstrated and are not commercially available, thus making it unachievable. The compliance timelines will force

retirement of coal plants while endangering the construction of new natural gas plants, which will lead to lack of baseload generation.

The reliability of electricity for the end user (our memberowners) does not appear to be a concern for those developing the rules. When reliable generating resources like coal and natural gas leave the grid, they will not come back. Wind and solar projects intended to replace them are not reliable generating resources. Why are they not reliable? They are dependent upon the weather and are intermittent, meaning they cannot be called upon on demand. Also, the existing transmission pathways across the nation are not sufficient to move that power in bulk from where it’s generated to where it needs to be used.

Most of you will remember the winter storms Uri, Elliot, and Gerri. During each of these storms, seasonal record peaks were set, meaning the greatest demand for energy from the end users occurred during these storms. This means we depend upon dispatchable generation such as natural gas peaking units and baseload coal units that can be called upon on demand to keep the lights on and to avoid rolling blackouts.

CHEC was blessed with no rolling blackouts, or service interruptions due to power supply shortages, because of the types of generation that these final rules intend to drastically reduce. We must continue to let Capitol Hill know how important our power supply is because, as we well know, keeping the power flowing can be a matter of life and death.

WATTS INSIDE Spring storms result in power outages >> page 2 Meet the CHEC Foundation scholarship recipients >> page 3 JUNE 2024 Published monthly by Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Headquarters Office

PO Box 539 • 1002 E. Main

Stigler, OK 74462 • 800-328-2368

Branch Office

PO Box 587 • 1800 KOA/Power Drive

Sallisaw, OK 74955 • 918-775-2211

Pay-by-Phone: 1-888-678-1937

Alternate Emergency Only: 918-552-0016


Joe Ogle, President District 6

Rocky Woods, Sr., Vice President District 1

Ronnie Pevehouse, Sec/Treasurer District 7

Dan Callahan, Trustee District 2

John Dillard, Trustee District 3

Dart Drummonds, Trustee District 4

Mike Rose, Trustee District 5


Juli Orme, General Manager

Mark Blaylock, Director of Operations

Marty Huff, Director of Safety & Loss Control/ROW Coordinator

Ellen Mattison, Manager of Accounting Services

Kristie Cash, Manager of Office Services

Jeremy Stubblefield, Chief Technology Officer

Brad Martin, Director of Member/Public Relations and Economic Development

Dallin Shaw, Director of Engineering

Kellan Lujan, Manager of Subsidiary Accounting

Russell V. Barber, General Counsel

Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. welcomes members to submit photos, and articles which will be subject to editing. Cookson Hills reserves the right to publish or modify any article. Companies and individuals featured in the Hot Watts newsletter do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position, or view of Cookson Hills.

Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

If you find your account number hidden in this issue of the Hot Watts, you’ll receive a $25 credit on your electric bill.

Spring Storms Result in Power Outages

At Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, we are dedicated to delivering safe, reliable, and affordable electricity to our members. These pillars of our co-op are constantly evolving to better serve you. The recent springtime storms have served as a stark reminder of how swiftly Mother Nature can disrupt our efforts. Multiple storms in May led to several power outages, a challenge we are always prepared to face.

During a storm, power outages are often caused by two major factors: lightning and strong winds. Lightning, in its search for the quickest path to the ground, often uses tall objects like poles, lines, and transformers as conductors. These poles can reach heights of over 50 feet, making them prime targets. When lightning strikes this equipment, it can cause an over-voltage on the electrical line, leading to a power interruption until our crews can replace a fuse or transformer or make other necessary repairs. 2950602

High winds can cause power lines to swing and hit each other, “slap,” causing a fault or short circuit interrupting power flow. The most common reason for wind-related outages is damage caused by trees and limbs falling onto the power lines. Even though our right-of-way crews work year-round to remove or trim trees and limbs away from the lines, there may still be taller trees outside the right-of-way area that can fall into the power lines, causing damage to poles and lines and destroying equipment. These events take longer to repair and can lead to extended power outages. If you ever come across a low-hanging or downed power line, stay away from the area and immediately call 911 to report it.

So, remember, the next time you see that flash of lightning and thunderclap or hear the roaring winds, know that if the power goes out, our crews do, too!

Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative, Inc. (case-sensitive)
2 | June 2024


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