Living in Nebraska, "The Good Life", I often feel distanced from the debate of carbon pollution, dirty energy, global warming and the like. Every day, I walk outside and the air I breathe is fresh and clean. I’m not coughing on fumes, or choked by smog. It makes it hard to concern myself with the environmental issues that are happening in our state, our country and our world.
But, did you know that according to a Nebraska Energy Office 2013 report, over 72% of Nebraska’s energy was produced by coal power plants? Another 18% came from nuclear power plants and less than 5% came from wind generation.
The following year we did a little bit better according to the American Wind Energy Association. in 2014 Nebraska produced 7% of our in-state energy from wind. However, we are still falling way behind our neighbors. According to a 2015 Clean Edge report, Nebraska ranks 50th (last place!) out of all states based on our overall clean technology, policies and capital.
That is downright depressing to me. Why is our state so passive in regards to green energy? The same 2014 AWEA report said that Nebraska is one of the top states for wind energy potential and we could produce up to 118 times the state’s current electrical needs with wind (note that is 118x not 118%).
Even though Nebraska is only a small portion of our world, that doesn’t alleviate us from doing our part to keep our planet clean. With such great wind potential, we need to keep pushing our elected officials to make wind energy a priority in Nebraska and keep our great land…well, great.
One group that is doing this is Bold Nebraska and I encourage you to check them out. In addition, here is a link to a petition to implement reasonable zoning requirements for wind turbines in rural Lancaster County. You can learn more about the debate in this Journal Star article.
Sometimes doing your part can be as simple as just letting others know what is important to you.