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.

LJS Editorial: Paris exit a black eye for US

From the Lincoln Journal Star editorial board:

By withdrawing from the international Paris agreement to curb global warming worldwide, the United States landed in less-than-inspiring company on climate change.

The only two other countries in the world not participating in the accord are Nicaragua (which actually pushed for more stringent efforts) and Syria (whose president is committing atrocities against his own people). This is the company Americans now keep.

President Donald Trump claimed growing the U.S. economy and protecting American jobs were the primary reasons for the exit. However, those claims aren’t backed by the overwhelming negative reaction by American businesses – and the mountains of scientific evidence and an ever-warming Earth that threatens cities and economies, including Nebraska’s.

Though rising sea levels won’t directly threaten the Cornhusker State, climatologists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have seen a spike in severe precipitation events in recent years. Nebraska Game and Parks biologists warn of dangers to native species and increased spread of invasive species and pathogens.

Forecasts call for more than two weeks a year of 100-plus-degree weather and decreased river volume for drinking and irrigation. More extreme shifts, including floods and droughts, are predicted in the coming decades.

These will affect all Nebraskans, regardless of location and employment.

Read the full editorial.

Green Drinks in Omaha May 24

Here is a friendly reminder that Omaha Green Drinks will be taking place this upcoming Wednesday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Whole Foods Market, 10020 Regency Pkwy, Omaha.

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.

Sign the Petition: Single-Payer Medicare for All

From the Green Party U.S.:

The Green Party supports single-payer universal health care and preventive care for all. We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.

Our current health care system lets tens of thousands of people die each year by excluding them from adequate care, while its exorbitant costs are crippling our economy. The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system.

Under a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the United States were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada and many European countries, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost of additional care. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced, while state and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the “dumping ground” for high-risk patients and those rejected by health maintenance organizations (HMOs) when they become disabled and unemployed. In addition, people would gain the peace of mind in knowing that they have health care they need. No longer would people have to worry about the prospect of financial ruin if they become seriously ill, are laid off their jobs, or are injured in an accident.

Read more and sign the petition.

Learn about habitat loss and biodiversity May 23 in Omaha

From Nebraska League of Conservation Voters:

On May 23, we will host a discussion about habitat loss and biodiversity, featuring Dr. LaReesa Wolfenbarger and Dr. Chris Helzer.

  • What: Discussion about Habitat Loss and Biodiversity
  • When: Tuesday, May 23, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
  • Where: UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service, located at 6320 Maverick Plaza, Omaha, NE 68182

This event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

Habitat loss is the number one reason why species go extinct, and thus poses a major threat to biodiversity on our planet. When humans convert wild areas for agriculture, forestry, urban development, or water projects (including dams, hydropower, and irrigation), they reduce or eliminate its usefulness as a habitat for the other species that live there.

Dr. LaReesa Wolfenbarger and Dr. Chris Helzer are two of Nebraska’s top experts on biodiversity and habitat loss, so you won’t want to miss this event!

Learn more about Dr. Wolfenbarger and Dr. Helzer.

Space is limited! To attend the event, please register here.