Sept. 18 discussion in Omaha: How climate change affects public health

From the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

Please consider attending a discussion September 18 about the effects of climate change on public health. The speaker, Dr. Ali S. Khan, is one of the world’s foremost experts on this topic.

  • When: Monday, September 18, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Weitz Community Engagement Center, UNO Dodge Street Campus, Omaha
  • Free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided.
  • To attend, please register here.

Dr. Ali Khan, Former Assistant Surgeon General and current Dean of the College of Public Health at UNMC, will speak about how climate change impacts public health. He will discuss how our health is currently being impacted by climate change, and share some of the top concerns the public health field has about the future and how we can prepare for it. There will be time for Q&A.

The League previously had Dr. Khan speak at the Conservation Summit, and the room was full. We recommend registering now to ensure you have a seat at the upcoming event on September 18. Please register here.

A spiritual gathering in support of sound policy in Lincoln Aug. 29

From Nebraskans for Peace:

We Will Not Be Left Behind: The Proposed Federal Budget and Ordinary People

The event will have a spiritual focus and will remind Lincoln and Nebraskans that the government has an obligation to protect the lives of poor and ordinary people through the provision of decent health care, education for civic competence and jobs, and uncontaminated water, air, and land.

  • When: Tuesday, August 29, 2017, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Malone Center Auditorium, 2032 U Street, Lincoln

The events of Charlottesville are not isolated from the general efforts in this country to cut programs designed to help people of all cultures and races flourish. We wish to speak to a budget that will support everyone’s empowerment.

The program will begin with music and prayers, continue with remarks from representatives of the most affected communities, go on to a federal budget analysis from Appleseed, and close with a meditation on values, a prayer and music.  We hope for a good crowd.

The event is sponsored by NFP, NAACP Lincoln, Nebraska Appleseed, Sacred Winds, and El Centro de las Americas.

Solidarity Vigil for Charlottesville

From the Nebraska Left Coalition and the Lincoln Democratic Socialists of America:

On August 12, White Supremacists rammed a car through a group of counter-protesters standing against the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.

One is confirmed dead, and at least 19 injured. The victims include our comrades in both DSA and the IWW.

Join us for a candlelight vigil as we stand in solidary against hate. We are gathering Sunday, August 13, from 8 to 9 p.m. at 1300 P Street.

We will also be collecting donations towards the medical expenses of the victims. Currently all funds raised at the vigil will be directed to this fundraiser.

Join the Facebook event.

Hundreds protest in Lincoln on the eve of KXL hearings

From the Lincoln Journal Star:

Over 500 protesters from across the country converged outside the state Capitol and onto downtown streets Sunday afternoon in response to TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The protest comes on the eve of week-long proceedings in front of the Nebraska Public Service Commission where local landowners, TransCanada representatives, Native American tribal leaders and others will present testimony on whether or not the pipeline serves the public interest.

The proceedings mark the last major hurdle TransCanada must get over for approval of the pipeline, which would carry nearly 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska for export.

K Street on the north side of the Capitol was blocked off as hundreds of sign-bearing protesters gathered. After speakers rallied the crowd, Native protesters astride horses led a march north down 16th Street.

Read the full story.

 

Upcoming events: KXL hearings, Green Drinks, solar workshop, and more

Keystone XL Public Hearing

  • When: Wednesday, July 26, at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (doors open at 9 a.m.).
  • Where: Ralston Arena, 7300 Q Street, Omaha.
  • What: Your final opportunity to speak on the record against KXL.

Omaha Green Drinks

  • When: Wednesday, July 26, at 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Whole Foods Market, 10020 Regency Pkwy, Omaha.
  • What: Carpool, cycle, walk, or ride the bus! This is a great way to network, inspire, share ideas, and catch up with other “Green” people! Please RSVP on Facebook.

LES Sustainable Living Festival

  • When: Saturday, July 29, at 9 a.m. to noon
  • Where: The Railyard, West Haymarket, Lincoln.
  • What: Come and learn how you can help build a more sustainable Lincoln. Read more.

Solar Energy Workshop

  • When: Saturday, August 5, at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Where: Eiseley Branch Library, 1530 Superior, Lincoln.
  • What: Hosted by Community Crops, this workshop will discuss the economics and installation options that are available in Lincoln. Register here ($5 fee).

Reminder: March to Give Keystone XL the Boot

  • When: Sunday, August 6, at 3 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Where: Beginning at the State Capitol.
  • What: Hundreds of Nebraskans, along with Water Protectors and Pipeline Fighters from near and far, will come together in Lincoln on the eve of the week-long Keystone XL intervenor hearings at the Nebraska Public Service Commission, and march through the streets to send the message that Keystone XL is a threat to our land, water and climate, and not in the public interest. Read more and sign up.

Stand With Us: Keystone XL Intervenor Hearings

  • When: Monday, August 7, through Friday, August 11. Starts at 9 a.m. daily.
  • Where: Nebraska Public Service Commission, 1200 N Street, Suite 300, Lincoln.
  • What: The Nebraska Public Service Commission has scheduled its “intervenor” public hearings on TransCanada’s permit for its proposed Keystone XL pipeline. More than 90 landowners who have refused to sell their land to TransCanada for the pipeline and fought eminent domain in court will challenge the permit, along with 30+ Nebraska residents, the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska and Yankton Sioux Tribe, Bold Nebraska, Sierra Club, 350.org and Oil Change International. Read more and RSVP.

Aug. 6 march in Lincoln: Give KXL the Boot!

From BOLD Nebraska:

Join the March to Give Keystone XL the Boot in Lincoln on June 19. For nine years, Pipeline Fighters and Water Protectors have been fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, which is abusing eminent domain for private gain, trampling sovereign rights, and threatening our land, water, and climate.

The final regulatory hurdle for KXL is at the Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC), which is planning a week-long public hearing August 7-11 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nebraska is our last stand, and the PSC will be voting on whether to accept or reject TransCanada’s permit application.

On the eve of the hearing — Sunday, August 6 — we call on all Pipeline Fighters to join us in Lincoln for the March to Give Keystone XL the Boot.

Join a discussion of Omaha’s water future July 20

From the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

On July 20, we will have an event focused on Omaha’s Water Future. Water isn’t just necessary for our survival, it is also essential for the success of our agricultural economy, industry, and energy generation. At this discussion about the future of Omaha’s water, we will explore the greatest threats to Omaha’s water supply, what is being done to address them, and the role that you can play in protecting this essential resource. Discussion leaders at this event will be John Winkler, General Manager of the Papio-Missouri NRD, and Dr. Alan Kolok, Director at the Center for Environmental Health and Toxicology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health.

  • What: Omaha’s Water Future, a discussion with John Winkler and Alan Kolok
  • Where: Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, UNO Dodge Street Campus
  • When: Thursday, July 20th, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
  • Register for the event.

Coal faces competition, even in Nebraska

From the Omaha World-Herald:

President Donald Trump’s removal of the United States from the Paris Agreement climate plan won’t provide a lifeline to the ailing coal industry — even in a state like Nebraska that burns a lot of it.

Utilities, railroads and other users and haulers of the black stuff say that when it comes to the move away from coal, the train has already left the station.

Even in Nebraska, the only state that increased its reliance on coal to produce power in the 10-year period between 2006 and 2016, a closer look at electricity-generating data shows a different pattern more recently: Since 2013, coal’s share of the market has actually fallen.

So while Nebraska utilities still gobble up coal to produce power, they’re using a more varied mix of sources to make electricity — bringing wind, solar and natural gas into the picture. And those other sources are only growing over time as coal falls.

Read the full story.

Upcoming events: conservation, peace, music, and budget talk

Community Conservation: Making Land Protection Relevant in the Communities Where It Occurs

  • What: Dave Sands, Executive Director, Nebraska Land Trust
  • When: Thursday, June 8, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Unitarian Church, 6300 A Street, Lincoln
  • More info.

Nebraskans for Peace Annual Rice & Beans Potluck Fundraiser

  • What: Annual event for building peaceful, just and beloved communities of resistance!
  • When: Saturday, June 10, 6 p.m.
  • Where: Hanscom Park United Methodist Church, 4444 Frances St., Omaha (One Block South of 45th & Center Street)
  • More info.

A Future of Care and Peacemaking or War and Waste? The 2018 Federal Budget

  • What: Music, spiritual resources, and resources to resist provided at rally. Drum and Lakota prayer, Pastor Lin Quenzer. Speaker is Kevin Martin from PeaceAction.
  • Where: West side of the Nebraska Capitol
  • When: Sunday June 11, 1 p.m.
  • More info.

Discussion about Soil Health and Climate Change

  • What: Discussion organized by the Nebraska League of Conservation Voters. This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.
  • When: Tuesday, June 20, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Where: Barbara Weitz Community Engagement Center, University of Nebraska Omaha
  • More info and register.

Discussion about the Plight of the Honeybee

  • What: Free and open to the public. Light refreshments provided.
  • When: Tuesday, June 27, 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Where: UNL Student Union, Lincoln
  • More info and register.

NRDC: Still No Approved Route for KXL in Nebraska

From the Natural Resources Defense Council:

Yes, Trump has green-lighted the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. But Nebraska’s got a slew of public hearings on the calendar, and legal challenges loom large.

“Trump administration approves Keystone XL pipeline,” the headlines blared. It was March 24, only two months after he’d taken office, when it appeared that President Trump had cleared the way for the long-contested tar sands conduit with a stroke of his pen. In reality, summarily declaring that the pipeline is in the national interest—despite a seven-year U.S. State Department review process that had concluded the opposite—won’t magically bring it to life. The president, together with TransCanada, the energy company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, still have many obstacles to overcome before Canadian tar sands crude can flow through KXL and into the United States.

The first formidable hurdle they face is the state of Nebraska, which TransCanada has treated with contempt in recent years. First, the company drew the pipeline’s route through the heart of the state’s fragile Sand Hills ecosystem. Confronted by environmental concerns, TransCanada said that rerouting the pipeline would be “impossible.” Mounting resistance, however, forced the oil giant to relent and nudge the proposed route around some of the most sensitive parts of the Sand Hills. The pipeline would still, however, run through the important Ogallala aquifer—one of our largest underground stores of freshwater, which would be at significant risk in the event of a leak.

Now that the controversial tar sands pipeline has been reactivated by President Trump’s decision, TransCanada must obtain the consent of the Nebraska Public Service Commission and secure easements from the landowners along the proposed route through the Cornhusker State. It will not be smooth sailing

Read the full policy primer.