Tag Archives: Senator Ken Haar

The Good Life: Electric car does the driving, and talking, for climate change message around state

By Paul Hammel, Omaha World-Herald

[Senator Ken] Haar, who was known for his advocacy of wind energy while in the Legislature, is making the rounds of Nebraska these days giving presentations on climate change. The star of the show is the Tesla, an all-electric car fitted with an auto pilot, eight cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors and forward-looking radar. He offers free rides in the luxury vehicle. Read more here.

Photo: The self-driving Tesla, the star of the show as former State Senator Ken Haar drives – or does he?  — to climate change presentations. Credit: Sarah Hoffman / The World-Herald

Find out more about electric cars at this event this Saturday!

Cities and States Lead on Climate Change

By Jeff Biggers, Opinion, The New York Times

cities-and-states-lead-on-climate-change

By 2020, thanks to MidAmerican Energy’s planned $3.6 billion addition to its enormous wind turbine operations, 85 percent of its Iowa customers will be electrified by clean energy. Meanwhile, Moxie Solar, named the fastest-growing local business by The Corridor Business Journal of Iowa, is installing solar panels on my house, and is part of a solar industry that now employs 200,000 nationwide . . . With or without significant federal support, reducing greenhouse gas emissions will require major private investment, as it has here in Iowa, and ambitious private-public initiatives from mayors and governors. We need to activate a new era of “regenerative” cities and states . . . Over 10,000 climate initiatives are underway in cities worldwide, according to the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, which represents 80 major cities. Read more. Photo of a wind turbine in Adair, Iowa by Charlie Neibergal / Associated Press

reckoning-at-eagle-creek

 

Jeff Biggers is the author of Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland, and the founder of the Climate Narrative Project at the University of Iowa.

The Climate Narrative Project is a special initiative in the Office of Sustainability at the University of Iowa, designed to reach across academic disciplines and chronicle regenerative approaches to energy, food, agriculture, water and waste management, community planning and transportation.

 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

  • Nebraska needs own climate plan, by the Lincoln Journal Star Editorial Board
    Thirty-four states have adopted climate action plans, according to a special legislative committee chaired by Sens. Ken Haar of Malcolm and Tyson Larson of O’Neill. A preliminary report shared at a legislative preview with incoming senators said the committee “heard one universally supported recommendation, which was the need to create a climate action plan for the State of Nebraska.” The preliminary report concluded, “The University of Nebraska Lincoln has the background, staff resources and expertise to create such a plan. The plan should be based on empirical evidence and Nebraska-based data, developed through outreach to the public and coordination with public and private sector interests.” The proposal is sensible and prudent. We hope that senators follow through. Read the entire editorial here.

Calling for commitment to renewable energy

By Nick Gebhart, North Platte Bulletin 

Nebraska State Capitol

Sens. Ken Haar of Malcolm and Tyson Larson of O’Neill heard testimony Wednesday from leaders from around the state calling for a response to the growing threat of climate change and an increase in energy from renewable resources . . . A group of students and faculty from Omaha North High School were at the hearing and a student, Gabriel Runyon, testified. Runyon said committing to renewable resources and stopping the effects of climate change were important to his generation. Haar thanked him for testifying, and said that more young people should speak out, because elected officials would listen. Read more.

Press Release from the Office of Senator Ken Haar: Opportunities for Nebraskans

nebraska-capitol

Senator Tyson Larson and Senator Ken Haar, co-chairs of the LR 455 Committee of the Legislature, announced a series of hearings about Opportunities for Nebraskans related to affordable energy efficiency and renewable energy development for communities, businesses and homes. Hearings will be held September 27th at the Broken Bow Middle School and September 28th at the State Capitol in Lincoln. Topics for the hearings will be solar energy development and energy financing, with a particular emphasis on PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy).

  • On September 27th at 10 a.m. in Broken Bow, the committee will hear presentations on energy financing, including PACE and will follow with solar energy development at 1:30 p.m.
  • On September 28th beginning at 9 a.m. in room 1525 of the State Capitol, the committee will hear about solar energy development followed by energy financing, including PACE beginning at 1:30 p.m. At both sites, the hearings will begin with presentations from experts invited to share their knowledge of the topics at hand, and then will be opened up for testimony from the public.

“These hearings are about opportunities,” said Senator Ken Haar. “We want Nebraskans to learn how they can reduce their energy bills through developing PACE programs or using other financing programs from the Nebraska Energy Office to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient. PACE and the Energy Office programs can also provide financing for renewable energy projects, including helping people put up solar panels.”

“We also want to make people aware of the opportunities for solar development,” said Senator Tyson Larson. “We are just beginning to scratch the surface of the possibilities for solar energy in Nebraska. It is very exciting to hear about all the new renewable energy developments happening in our state.”

PACE is a new program authorized by the 2016 Legislature. It authorizes municipalities to set up programs to finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for businesses and homes in which the projects are paid off through an assessment on the property where the project is located. There are many attractive aspects of PACE programs, including the ability to finance projects that may have more upfront cost but provide more long-term benefits. In addition, PACE programs can provide one-stop service that encompasses financing, contracting and repayment through one program.

For more information contact Ken Winston, Legislative Aide to Senator Ken Haar, 402-471-2673 or kwinston@leg.ne.gov

Lawmakers OK proposals to plan for climate change, boost wind energy

By Zach Pluhacek, Lincoln Journal Star

Senator Ken Haar

Senator Ken Haar

Haar’s proposal establishing a special panel of lawmakers to examine climate change was adopted on a 28-3 vote. Because the resolution doesn’t carry the weight of law, it does not require approval from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Senator John McCollister

Senator John McCollister

The wind energy bill sponsored by Omaha Sen. John McCollister overcame a filibuster for the second time to pass on a 34-10 vote, and now awaits the governor’s OK.

Read the entire story here.
LR 455’s History 
LB 824’s History  

Nebraska’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Legislation

20150320_130220LB 1012, proposed by Senator Heath Mello and made a Priority Bill by Senator Ken Haar, was unanimously voted into law on April 7th. The Nebraska Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) law provides a simple and effective means for property owners to finance energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects.

An assessment is added to the property’s tax bill and repaid for up to 20 years. PACE financing stays with the property when it’s sold. In other states with PACE legislation, it is creating jobs and promoting community economic development while improving the environment. Scientific American Magazine has called PACE one of the top 20 “world-changing” ideas.

LB1012’s History: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/bills/view_bill.php?DocumentID=283

Senator works to protect the earth

By Don Walton, Lincoln Journal Star

Senator Ken Haar
With time running out on his days as a state senator, Ken Haar of Malcolm has presented the 2016 Legislature with a clean energy agenda and is preparing to rally young Nebraskans to protect their future.

“There is an urgency” now as the world accepts the reality of climate change, Haar said during an interview in his Capitol office. “There is so much to do.”

Continue reading.

The public is invited: Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus will deliver the Keynote Address for the Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate this Wednesday, January 27th at 7 p.m. in UNL’s Nebraska Union, 14th & R. Click here for more information.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Senator Ken Haar Introduces LB1071 – The Solar Energy Economic Development Act & Additional Energy-Related Bills

Senator Ken Haar Introduces LB1071 – The Solar Energy Economic Development Act & Additional Energy-Related Bills

Ken Haar

 

 

On January 20th Senator Ken Haar (District 21) introduced legislation related to protecting the public, supporting the environment and promoting clean energy. Senator Haar’s Legislative Aide, Ken Winston provides the following brief synopses of the four legislative bills:

 


LB1068 – Adopt t
he Electric Customer Protection Act and provide duties for the Public Service Commission
Would require the Public Service Commission to review electric rate increases that exceed 2 percent. It would also create a customer advocate position.

http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB1068.pdf

LB1069 – Provide duties for the state investment officer relating to investment in energy-related companies or funds
Would require the State Investment Officer to determine the amount of money invested in clean energy and the amount invested in fossil fuels and begin the process of divesting from fossil fuels and investing in clean energy.

http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB1069.pdf

LB1070 – Change powers and duties of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission to require liability insurance and restrict permits as prescribed
Would require $1 million in liability insurance for injection wells and $5 million in liability insurance for commercial disposal facilities that dispose of more than 500 barrels per day. It would also prohibit injection wells in an area in which the drinking water aquifer begins less than 50 feet below the surface or extends more than 100 feet deep.

http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB1070.pdf

LB1071 – Adopt The Solar Energy Economic Development Act 
Would authorize community solar projects and provide a process for incentive grants for solar projects that would be administered by the Nebraska Energy Office.
http://nebraskalegislature.gov/FloorDocs/Current/PDF/Intro/LB1071.pdf

Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate

Ken HaarSenator Ken Haar has been at the forefront of climate change legislation in the Nebraska Legislature. Aware that there are some voices  missing – those for whom climate change will have the most impact – the Senator is organizing a Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate and is seeking 50 applicants between the ages of 15-25. Participants will learn about the legislative process, community organizing, and speaking to elected officials and the press about climate policy. The day will culminate with a press conference in the Capitol Rotunda. Application Deadline: Sunday, January 10th at 11:59 p.m. Apply here

Please note that application does not ensure admission to the Summit. Selected applicants will be notified by January 15, 2016.

Schedule of Events:

rev.-lennox-yearwoodSummit Keynote Address by Reverend Lennox Yearwood – Open to the Public
Wednesday, January 27th at 7:00 p.m. in UNL’s Nebraska Union, 14th & R
Senator Haar has invited one of the best youth organizers in the nation as a special guest: Reverend Lennox Yearwood of the Hip Hop Caucus, who will also assist with some of the training during the Youth Summit.

Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate Thursday, January 28th  from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, 1445 K Street. The Summit will be limited to 50 youth ages 15 to 25, and an application is required.

If you are between the ages of 15 and 25 and are considering this event, please give some thought to the following: What would you like to say to Nebraska’s legislators about how climate change will affect your quality of life in the future?  How can you help pass good legislation to mitigate the worst effects of climate change in Nebraska? Get the tools you will need at the Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate.

For more information on the Nebraska Youth Summit on Climate and to print and post a color flyer at your school visit: https://www.facebook.com/events/1669844043272664/

Local View: The death of opportunity by over-regulation

By Ken Haar, Lincoln Journal Star
Ken Haar

Three members of the Lancaster County Board have signaled their intention to kill an opportunity to provide property tax revenues and economic benefits for our residents by imposing unreasonable regulations on proposed wind developments. The proposed sound regulations aren’t based on facts or science but rather on fear and anecdotal speculation.

As an elected official, one of the things I hear most is the need for property tax relief. I am also constantly asked to find the financial resources needed to serve the people I represent. Wind development represents an opportunity to do both. Continue reading.