Electric rates stable, but politics count
Published 2:43 am Friday, January 1, 2016
National politics will have a bearing on much of what happens in Covington County this year, Ed Short said.
Short, who is president and CEO of Covington Electric Cooperative, also is very involved in local economic development issues. Politics have bearing on both.
“Electric rates are going to be stable for the next year, barring some anomaly like gas prices going out the roof,” Short said. “But I’m very very concerned about future with recent Environmental Protection.”
Eliminating coal-fired generation plants will increase the cost of electricity, he said.
“We are all about safety, safety, safety in our industry, but we are also about a strong economy,” he said.
Short said he believes the country has not moved in a positive direction in the current presidential administration.
“In fact, I think we have taken several steps backward,” he said. “I hope we elect leaders in in the coming 2016 cycle – locally, statewide and nationally – to get back on a positive track for everybody.”
Short said he expects positive economic activity in the industrial sector housed at South Alabama Regional Airport (SARA) this year. But until Congress addresses sequestration, economic development issues there will not reach their full potential.
Sequestration refers to automatic spending cuts approved by Congress in an effort to lower overall spending. One of the results is that the military is spending less money on equipment. In the past, upgrades to military aircraft have generated local jobs, thanks to SARA’s proximity to area military bases.
“We have some possibilities for jobs at the airport in the short-term, and those might possibly work into long-term jobs,” Short said. “But the sequestration issue is a big piece of that puzzle.”
Still, he’s bullish on 2016.
“All in all, we are still in a good position. It’s good to live in Covington County, and Covington Electric Cooperative continue to provide good electric service, and work for the betterment of the people we serve.”