The Oklahoma Corporation Commission is reviewing a regional haze case brought by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Sierra Club. The EPA plan, with little environmental benefit, will sharply raise electricity costs in Oklahoma, which are about one-third less than the national average. Oklahomans can't allow the EPA and Sierra Club to overrule our state authority, unnecessarily raising electricity costs and hurting our economy.
When families and businesses start paying 11 percent to 15 percent higher electricity rates, jobs will be lost and local tax revenues will plummet. The average Oklahoma family's electricity costs would rise from $1,380 to $1,587 per year if the EPA and Sierra Club succeed. But their costs will also rise for food, clothing, health care, gasoline and anything else they buy, because all businesses will be paying more for their electricity.
This nation depends on reliable/affordable electricity. Increased electricity costs with little benefit hurt all consumers — homes, businesses, manufacturers, hospitals, farms, retail stores, schools and all other electricity users, including our large Oklahoma energy industry. When electric rates go up, jobs are lost in every sector of our economy. We must stick together and not let this happen. The Corporation Commission must stand up for Oklahomans and not submit to the unwarranted dictates of the EPA and Sierra Club!
J. Clement Burdick III, Edmond
Burdick, a petroleum engineer, is an environmental engineering consultant.