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Electric co-ops legally need to disclose investment risks of coal-fired power

Rural electric co-ops that gamble on low-cost coal while largely keeping their member-owners in the dark about future financial risks may be playing with federal regulatory fire in the form of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, according to an attorney for the renewable-energy sector. Ron Lehr, attorney for Interwest Energy Alliance and former chairman of the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), said board members of rural electric co-ops need to go to great lengths to divulge to their members the potential risks of investing in coal-fired power plants with a possible federal carbon tax or cap-and-trade policy looming.