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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From BOLD Nebraska:
The Nebraska Public Service Commission has not yet announced any additional public meetings on the Keystone XL pipeline route other than Wednesday, May 3, in York at the Holthus Convention Center. So this is your next opportunity to make your voice heard on KXL. Speakers are limited to five minutes; first-come, first-serve.
(The formal intervenor hearings Aug. 7-11 in Lincoln are also expected to include an opportunity for public testimony, at the end of the week).
- Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Ave, York
- Wednesday, May 3, 2017
- Doors open at 8 a.m.; hearing from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- A rally and press conference are planed for noon to 1:30 p.m.
RSVP through BOLD Nebraska.
Join the Facebook event.
From the Lincoln Journal Star:
More than 200 protesters gathered Saturday morning to voice their concerns about climate change and its lack of acceptance by the public and elected officials.
Participants marched from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Student Union to the State Capitol before gathering at The Bourbon Theatre. The event was one of more than 300 satellite marches across the globe.
John Atkeison, the lead organizer of the Lincoln march, said the protest was meant to get the attention of more than just elected officials.
“The main motivating force for dealing with change is at the grass roots,” he said. “The politicians that are in power now don’t address the problem. They’ve been doing little or nothing about it.”
Read the full story.
From Open Sky Policy Institute:
LB 461, the tax-cut package put forth by the Revenue Committee, is first and foremost an income tax cut for wealthy Nebraskans and the proposal does little to truly address property tax relief. In fact, LB 461 is fundamentally flawed in a way that makes it more likely to exacerbate, not help, Nebraska’s reliance on property taxes to fund K-12 education. Furthermore, some Nebraskans would actually pay more in overall taxes under LB 461.
Read the full policy brief.