Dear Resident of Lancaster County,
In November, the Lancaster County Board of Commissioners voted to put in place strict regulations that will prevent development of wind energy in our county. On a 3-2 vote, the County Board rejected the proposal brought to them by the Lancaster County Planning Commission, which would have allowed for wind development in our county. Instead, they opted for strict regulation that will make it impossible for us to develop wind.
But, we can make a difference. We can make a difference if we demonstrate that thousands of people in Lancaster County care about a sustainable future. We need to demonstrate that we will not stand for our leaders making decisions that make it harder for us to move into a clean energy future. We need to show that this is important to us, and that we stand together in support of renewable, local energy, and we expect more from our public officials.
Show your support for wind energy by signing your name to this petition, and share this petition with as many people in Lancaster County as possible.
Nebraska has amazing potential for generating wind energy, yet we fall far behind our neighboring states in terms of how much wind energy we actually produce. Nebraska’s failure to reach its renewable energy potential is due to policy failure. The policy adopted by the Lancaster County Board is anti-wind energy, and it sets a bad example for the rest of the state.
Below, you will see two maps. The top map shows where we could have developed wind energy had the County Board adopted the standards suggested by the Planning Commission. The white areas between the circles represent where a wind turbine could have been sited. The recommended regulations would have allowed for wind development in Lancaster County. The bottom map represents where turbines are able to be sited under the policy that was adopted. The areas in pink are areas that are unable to have a wind turbine sited, the areas in white represent where a turbine would be allowed – as you can see, there are very, very few locations where wind turbines will be able to be sited in Lancaster County. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that a project will be viable given these new stringent regulations.
1) We rank third in the nation in wind energy capacity, yet only rank 20th in actual production. Meanwhile, Iowa ranks 2nd in the amount of wind energy it produces, but is only 6th in its potential, ranking below us. This is due to policy failure, and we need to show that we support policies that incentivize wind development.
2) Nebraska ranks fourth in the nation in coal consumption per capita, due to our heavy reliance on coal-fired electricity. This is unacceptable given our vast renewable resources. We need to develop these resources so that we can move into a clean energy future.
3) We need better policies in place that will incentivize development of wind energy across the state. Lancaster County should be a leader, but it has instead sent a signal to the rest of the state that wind energy is not welcome here. We need to take a stand and show our support for renewable, local energy in Lancaster County
On March 14, the Lincoln Journal Star wrote the following Editorial about the Lancaster County Board’s “super-strict noise limits” and our petition drive: Editorial, 3/15: Wind energy rules too strict By the Journal Star editorial Mar 14, 2016 The Lancaster County Board should heed the request of a local coalition that it take another look[…]
Coalition seeks loosened wind energy regulations By KEVIN ABOUREZK / Lincoln Journal Star Feb 26, 2016 A coalition of business, labor and civic leaders braved a windy morning Friday to call on Lancaster County leaders to approve policies that will allow wind energy development. The group has begun collecting signatures for a petition that expresses[…]