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August 2, 2013

Unplugged Roulet Report There has recently been a lot of discussion about the Endangered Species Act, and, in particular the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Range for the chicken in Oklahoma has historically been in far west central and northwestern parts of the state. Having grown up in far western Oklahoma, I have never seen a prairie chicken, however, people tell me they were numerous at one time. They also have habitat in southwestern Kansas, southeastern Colorado, the Texas panhandle and the eastern part of New Mexico. Hearings have been going on over the past 18 months about whether they should be placed on the endangered species list. As an alternative, the five states involved can provide a mitigation plan, and if accepted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department the plan can work in place of an endangerment finding. The plan places restrictions within the habitat areas that might lead toward a greater population in the future. An endangerment decision places restrictions on almost every industry and landowner in those areas as to what they may do or not do with property in those areas. Wind farms, oil and gas drilling, highways, pipelines, electric lines and land use could all face different levels of restriction. A mitigation plan is a little less severe, however that still restricts usage and defines conditions where things might occur. It puts in place how habitat might be added in some areas and reduced in others. Overall, a mitigation plan should turn out not to be quite as restrictive as an endangerment finding, and does allow loss of birds if they are added in other areas. WFEC staff has been working with the State of Oklahoma in development of a mitigation plan to preserve the Lesser Prairie Chicken that should be final by the early part of 2014. One way or the other, a lot of changes are likely to occur in development of new lines and substations in these areas.


Connection Card Offer Back to School Savings! Receive discounted school supplies by using your Co-op Connection Card!

If you have have questions about your Co-op Connection Card,

contact Brittany Hicks at ext, 4335

Use the following link to take advantage of this Connection Card offer: Office Depot offer page


Adios All Diesel If you have noted all those tanker trucks recently coming and going from the Anadarko Plant, there is a reason for it. WFEC is selling all of its fuel oil because the new air permits no longer allow it to be burned. And, because the last Anadarko Plant unit has been converted to Dry Low NOx, there is no longer a need to burn diesel. So, it’s adios to about 2.4 million gallons of the fuel. It will take about 330 truckloads to remove the fuel. Two 2.5 million gallon diesel storage tanks for the diesel will also dismantled.


Summer Savings

August is upon us and the back-to-school banners are already flying. While you may be trying to block out the end-of-summer announcements, now is a great time to take advantage of the hot deals that this time of year has to offer. Here are just a few.

Season closeouts. Over the next few weeks, sales will be in full swing as stores prepare for their fall inventory to arrive. Take stock of your spring and summer items and see if there are any gaps that could be filled with deeply discounted items. But remember, don't buy something just because it's a good price, make sure you're only buying what you actually need.

Fresh produce. Late summer is the best time to check out your local farmers' market, as many fruits and vegetables are coming into season—stone fruits, eggplant and zucchini are some of the current favorites. Not only will you save by buying directly from the source, 04685 you'll also be supporting your local economy and getting high quality food at the same time.

The outdoor advantage. Soak up the remaining summer weather by spending as much time outside as possible. When you're outside, you're not using electricity through lighting, electronics, etc. Plus, cooking outside on the grill can help keep the heat out and cut down on energy costs used in cooking on the stove or in the oven.

Sales tax holidays. During the year, some states offer sales tax holidays, a temporary reduction or elimination of a tax. Many of this year's tax holidays are taking place in August, so be sure to see if your state has one that may benefit you.


The real cost of taking a loan from your 401(k) account If you're saving in a 401(k) plan, you're taking big steps Some employees borrow money on the way to retirement in the form of a 401(k) loan. These loans are different from hardship withdrawals because loans must be paid back, with interest, to your account. Anyone thinking about taking a 401(k) loan should consider:    

Loan funds cannot earn compound interest over time, which may affect your retirement savings. You lose the benefit of pre-tax investing since you repay loans with after-tax dollars. It may be difficult to repay the loan and contribute to your 401(k) at the same time. If you stop contributing, any employer matching contributions also stop. If you leave your job, you must repay the loan in full within 90 days or pay taxes and possible penalties.

Take a look at three people who borrowed money. Which would you want to be? JOE: Borrowed $5,000 at an estimated cost of $651 Joe got a personal loan from a credit union. He borrowed $5,000 at a 5% interest rate and over five years and paid about $5,651 in loan payments.1 BOB: Borrowed $5,000 at an estimated cost of $14,000 Bob is 35 years from retirement. He borrowed $5,000 from his 401(k) account, paid 5% interest to his account and repaid his loan in five years. Bob lost an estimated $14,000 in retirement savings. Why? When you borrow, you lose the opportunity to earn on your savings and you lose any compounding interest for the period of the loan.2 JANE: Borrowed $5,000 at an estimated cost of $64,000 Jane is also 35 years from retirement. She borrowed from her 401(k) but changed jobs before she could make any payments. She couldn't pay the loan back within the required period and was assessed a 10% penalty and taxes. Based on the $5,000 loan and the loss of compounding interest, Jane's estimated loss is about $64,000.2 Consider your options before taking out a 401(k) Plan loan. If you have questions, contact NRECA's Personal Investment & Retirement Consulting (PIRC) associates at 866.673.2299 or pirc@nreca.coop. Examples assume 7% return. Sources: 1. Agriculturefcu.org, 2. Bankrate.com.


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Did You Know.... 22 Maps that Define America

http://www.businessinsider.com/22-gorgeous-maps-that-define-the-united-states-ofamerica-2013-7?op=1

Energy Efficiency Tip

DIY Energy Assessment Tips

Check the insulation in your attic, exterior and basement walls,ceilings, floors, and crawl spaces. Your Home’s energy use To determine the insulation R-values in different parts of your home, Visit the Air Leaks and Insulation section of energysavers.gov. Check for air leaks around your walls, ceilings, windows, doors, light and plumbing fixtures, switches, and electrical outlets. Check for open fireplace dampers. Make sure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Check your owner’s manuals for the recommended maintenance. Study your family’s lighting needs and look for ways to use controls—like sensors, dimmers, or timers— to reduce lighting use.


Oklahoma - Voted Least Expensive State to Live The cost of living is a key factor when businesses decide where to set up shop. That's why Cost of Living is one of the categories we measure as we rank 03723 America's Top States for Business. The lower the cost of living, the higher the score. Here are America's least expensive states to live in as ranked by CNBC, as well as a sampling of the prices you'll pay for some basics in the most expensive area of the state. (Average price data based on Council for Community and Economic Research C2ER Cost of Living Index, Q1 2013.) http://www.cnbc.com/id/100835110


Happy Birthday wishes go out to all WFEC employees enjoying a birthday. Have a wonderful day! Sue Meyer Kevin Johnson Don Lester Bud Rogers Maria Crowder Charlie Dunbar Warren Brown Kyle Batson

8/02 8/04 8/05 8/05 8/07 8/08 8/08 8/12

Allan Ousley Gina Johnson Jessica Perry David Mathias Richard Ross Rick Hopkins Ken McElhaney Clay Carr

8/02 8/04 8/05 8/06 8/07 8/08 8/09 8/12

Be

kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Hidden Employee Numbers

Congratulations, Bryan Elwood found his employee number in the last issue. Sorry, Pam Luna did not find her employee number. You could be the next winner of a $10 Logo Room credit. If you find your employee number in this edition, call Brittany Hicks at Ext. 4335. Please use your credit before the next payday if possible.

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