Tag Archives: Nebraska

FACT SHEET: Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces Six New Actions to Lower Electricity Bills for Working Families

The White House Briefing Room

Boosted by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Actions to Connect More States and Families to Affordable, Reliable Solar Projects and Create Clean Energy Jobs

President Biden is laser focused on lowering energy costs for working families while creating good-paying jobs and tackling the climate crisis. As extreme heat continues to affect tens of millions of Americans, hitting low-income families harder than others, President Biden is implementing new programs to help maintain a consistent and affordable energy supply to cool their homes.

Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing six new actions to lower home electricity costs for hard-hit American families by increasing access to affordable and more reliable clean energy and create clean energy jobs: Continue reading here.

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING

FACT SHEET: White House Announces over $40 Billion in American Rescue Plan Investments in Our Workforce – With More Coming

The White House Briefing Room

On Wednesday, the White House will announce that over $40 Billion in American Rescue Plan funds have been committed to strengthening and expanding our workforce. White House officials will highlight top American Rescue Plan workforce best practices from Governors, Mayors, and County Leaders across the country, and call on more government officials and private sector leaders to expand investments in our workforce. Vice President Kamala Harris will deliver remarks kicking off a half-day White House Summit.

Since passage of the law, states, localities, community colleges, and local organizations have leveraged American Rescue Plan resources to deliver training, expand career paths, encourage more Registered Apprenticeships, provide retention and hiring bonuses in critical industries, and power efforts to help underserved Americans and those who face barriers to employment secure good jobs. These investments in the workforce – along with the American Rescue Plan’s direct payroll support that has saved or restored jobs across a broad set of industries – have contributed to a record 9 Million jobs added since President Biden took office in the fastest and strongest jobs recovery in American history. Continue reading here.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE NEWS

USDA Accepts More than 3.1 Million Acres   in Grassland CRP Signup,  Farm Service Agency, EIN Presswire

WASHINGTON, July 12, 2022 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is accepting offers for more than 3.1 million acres from agricultural producers and private landowners through this year’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grassland Signup, the highest in history. This program allows producers and landowners to continue grazing and haying practices while protecting grasslands and promoting plant and animal biodiversity and conservation, and it’s part of the Biden-Harris administration’s broader effort to address climate change and to conserve natural resources

  • Top states included Colorado (642,000 acres), South Dakota (nearly 425,000 acres) and Nebraska (nearly 422,000 acres). 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR NEWS

Department Leaders Complete Multi-State Swing to Highlight Legacy Pollution Investments from Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

 Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Winnie Stachelberg traveled this week to highlight recent investments made by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to plug and remediate orphaned oil and gas wells in national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and on other public lands. Millions of Americans live within a mile of hundreds of thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells, which lead to hazardous pollution, water contamination, and safety hazards for our communities.

The Department recently announced a $33 million investment from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in fiscal year 2022 to plug, remediate and reclaim hazardous sites on federal lands – part of a historic $4.7 billion allocated through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells across the country. The historic investments will create good-paying, union jobs, catalyze economic growth and revitalization, and reduce dangerous methane leaks.

The Department of the Interior focuses on 8 priorities:

Ways to join the Department of the Interior:

The Energy & Environmental Building Alliance Joins the American Solar Energy Society in Showcasing Innovations to Help Consumers Cut Rising Energy Costs and Assert Their Energy Independence via the ASES National Solar Tour

American Solar Energy Society News Release, PR Newswire

Registration Now Open for Contractors and Sustainable Living Advocates Seeking to
Host or Sponsor Free, Open House Tours Showcasing Money-Saving Innovations for
Homes, Businesses, Commercial Structures and Non-Profits via the
October 1-2 National Solar Tour, America’s Largest Grassroots Solar Living Event

BOULDER, Colo., July 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Hot on the heels of Independence Day, the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) is partnering with the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance (EEBA) to inspire net zero, solar-powered and sustainable living improvements to help people assert their energy independence and combat runaway energy costs on properties of all scope and scale via the 27th ASES National Solar Tour, America’s largest concurrent collection of free, in-person and virtual open house tours. Read the entire news release here.

FROM SOLAR POWER WORLD

July solar policy snapshots: A guide to recent legislation and research throughout the country
Illinois rule changes will simplify solar + storage interconnection, Springfield, Illinois
The Illinois Commerce Commission recently revised the state’s rules regarding how solar and other DERs connect to the distribution grid. The changes will reduce the time and cost to interconnect and make it easier to use energy storage to balance intermittent resources.

IN NEBRASKA

NEW CENTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS GUIDE

Decommissioning Solar Energy Systems Resource Guide

Falling equipment costs coupled with increased demand for clean energy have led to a rapid rise in solar development over the past decade, a trend expected to continue, especially in rural areas. But, local governments also need to think about what happens to the sites that reach the end of their life cycles. The Center’s new guide outlines management options and recommendations of what information should be included in decommissioning plans. 

States Are Tackling Climate, Using Federal Cash as Congress Lags

By Zach Bright, Bloomberg Law

Some Republican-led states such as Nebraska and South Carolina, despite resistance to sweeping plans framed as climate action, are nonetheless lowering greenhouse gas emissions as they move to clean energy because of its long-term economic benefits over fossil fuels.

Read more here.


LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LABORATORY STUDY

Solar-plus-storage vs. wind-plus-storage, by Emiliano Bellini, PV Magazine
Scientists from the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have compared the costs of several of solar-plus-storage configurations with those of other wind-plus-battery plants across seven US wholesale electricity markets. They described their findings in Keep it short: Exploring the impacts of configuration choices on the recent economics of solar-plus-battery and wind-plus-battery hybrid energy plants,” which was recently published in the Journal of Energy Storage.

MODEL ‘SOLAR-AS-A-SERVICE’ PROGRAM

IPS plans largest solar energy project in state history by a school systemFox 59
Indianapolis Public Schools has announced plans to move forward with the largest solar energy project by an educational institution in the state of Indiana. According to IPS, the solar energy project would significantly reduce cost, cut carbon emissions and boost sustainability efforts for 20 schools. Sun FundED has worked in bringing solar energy to other educational institutions including Indiana Wesleyan University and Taylor University. They’ve also signed up, or are soon to sign up, schools in Michigan, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota and Virginia, according to the company.

See Also: IPS Partners with Indiana Firm to Plan Largest K-12 Solar Project Ever in Indiana, Indianapolis Public Schools

Featured Resources

CARBON DIOXIDE PIPELINES

EPA Regional Administrator Meg McCollister Urges School Districts, Tribes and School Bus Operators in Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Nebraska to Apply for $500M In Available Funding for Clean School Buses

Environmental Protection Agency News Release, May 20, 2022

“This historic investment under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will forever transform school bus fleets across the United States,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “These funding opportunities to replace older, heavily-polluting buses will result in healthier air for many of the 25 million American children who rely on school buses, many of whom live in overburdened and underserved communities. Today we take a major step toward a future where clean, zero-emissions school buses are the American standard.”

“This new funding can make a big impact for children across Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska and the nine tribal nations here,” said EPA Region 7 Administrator Meghan A. McCollister. “I urge all eligible school districts, tribes, and school bus operators to make the time this summer to apply for Clean School Bus rebates. Applications will be accepted until August 19, 2022. Over the next five years, this program will deliver $5 billion to school districts to improve our bus fleets and improve health and safety for our kids and communities.” Questions about applying may be directed to CleanSchoolBus@epa.gov.

Read the entire news release here.

Note: This is the first competition that EPA is running through the Clean School Bus program. The Agency will also launch a grant competition later this year. Further Clean School Bus competitions funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will be run every year over the next five years. To learn more about the rebate programs, applicant eligibility, selection process, and informational webinar dates, visit www.epa.gov/cleanschoolbus. 

Links to more information:

Links to U.S. PIRG Reports & Blog

UPCOMING DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WEBINAR

180 Day Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Briefing, Monday, May 23rd at 10:30 am CT
The U.S. Department of Energy is hosting this 30-minute webinar with Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Principal Deputy Under Secretary for Infrastructure Kathleen Hogan to provide updates on the implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) and to share the progress made in its first 180 days. The webinar will feature updates on the $10 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding already released as well as a preview of upcoming funding opportunities. In addition, it will highlight how equity and the Justice40 initiative are being incorporated into BIL programs and allow time for a Q&A. Submit your questions via the link in your registration confirmation email.

UPDATED DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY CAREER MAPS

For anyone seeking a job in clean energy, DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has created various interactive and user-friendly maps to help you think about what your career can look like in clean energy. Each map is organized into easily navigated sections based on degreed versus vocational careers, making for clearer roles and paths.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

FEATURED CLIMATE EDUCATION & ACTION RESOURCES

  • UNICEF: Talking to your child about climate change: How to engage children on the issue with hope and positivity. Numerous links to resources are provided.
  • Talk Climate.Org resource pages are designed to support justice-based climate education, to provide guidance for productive and empowering climate conversations, and to offer ways to take climate action.

Solar Industry Launches Nonprofit to Alleviate Clean Energy Roadblocks

SEIA News Release

While the organization will focus on a variety of issues, one emerging challenge in the solar industry is land use. Siting clean energy projects requires community engagement and long-term planning that minimizes impact to the environment and surrounding community. These projects must also account for access to transmission lines, upgrades to grid infrastructure, and several other factors that can affect the outcome of a large-scale solar project. SI2’s first research project will create best practices for solar companies looking to create large-scale solar projects and other resources that will help the industry navigate these challenges. Read more here. 

To learn more about the new nonprofit, visit Solar and Storage Industries Institute (SI2): www.ssii.org 

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING  

NFS Note: As the Energy Information Association (EIA) data show, Nebraska and Iowa continue to lag behind most states on Solar as a Percentage of Total Generation (SPG): Nebraska 0.17% / Iowa 0.47%. Both states, however, are national leaders on Solar + Wind as a percentage of Total Generation (SWPG): Nebraska – 31.22% / Iowa – 67% (currently #1).

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Conservation officials blast Gov. Ricketts’ opposition to ‘America the Beautiful’ initiative,

By Paul Hammel, Nebraska Examiner

LINCOLN — Conservation groups on Thursday lambasted claims by Gov. Pete Ricketts and a property rights group that a presidential proposal to restore forests and river banks, enhance federal conservation efforts and protect endangered species is a “land grab.” Officials with the Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups said President Joe Biden’s “America the Beautiful Initiative,” initially called the “30-by-30” plan, is a voluntary program to enlist farmers and ranchers in conserving more land to benefit wildlife and combat climate change. Continue reading here.

Poll Discussed In The Article 

New Polling Data Shows Nebraska Voters Overwhelmingly Support Voluntary Conservation Programs and America the Beautiful Goals, Nebraska Farmers Union, April 21, 2022 

LINCOLN, NEBRASKA – Nebraska Farmers Union was joined today by leaders from three conservation organizations to release the findings of a new public opinion poll that shows overwhelming support from Nebraska voters for conservation programs, including the national goal to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Majorities across all parties support the national 30×30 targets, including 64 percent support among Nebraska Republicans, 90 percent support among Democrats, and 88 percent support among Independents.

MORE NEBRASKA NEWS 

A 100% Renewable Energy Future is Possible, and We Need It

By Paula Garcia, Senior Bilingual Energy Analyst,
Union of Concerned Scientists

Nebraskans for Solar Note: The writer provides a link to information about “a growing number of states that are already committing to 100 percent renewable or carbon-free energy.” As you undoubtedly already know, Nebraska is one of them.

A transition to renewable energy is not just one of the most consequential tools at our fingertips to act on climate, but also represents a great opportunity to increase control over our energy choices, improve the health of our communities and the planet, create jobs and wealth, and much more. But how feasible is this transition? And can this transition benefit us all? 

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)—together with environmental justice groups COPAL in Minnesota, GreenRoots in Massachusetts, and the Michigan Environmental Justice Coalition—collaborated on an analysis to look into those questions. On the Road to 100 Percent Renewables examined how two dozen state members of the U.S. Climate Alliance (USCA) can meet all of their electricity needs with renewable energy—while decarbonizing other sectors of the economy and ensuring equitable benefits to all communities. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Dennis Schroeder/NREL/Flickr

Additional Recommended Reading

What is a Nebraskan? It is my wish that we push our common good qualities to the top

Commentary by Brad Ashford, The Nebraska Examiner

Who are we? Who are we who call ourselves Nebraskans? As I contemplate this, my mind takes me to a place far away from Nebraska.

When I was a student at Colgate University in upstate New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Professor Jonathan Kistler taught English and welcomed all his students into his perception of the world. He shared that a favorite pastime was to sit on his back porch in the evenings and listen to the trains as they passed. He wondered where they had been, where they were going and who or what they were carrying. It made me think of home and the seemingly endless prairies, crisscrossed by railroad tracks, roads both Interstate highway quality and gravel, and the occasional remnant ruts left by the covered wagons of the century before last.

Continue reading here.

Brad Ashford is a public servant and attorney. He served four terms in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature and one term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Brad’s focus now is bringing a New Attitude to all involved in governance — to work together without regard to labels. He lives with his wife, Ann, in Omaha.

MORE FROM AUTHOR

About The Nebraska Examiner
Our website is free — free of ads, free of paywalls, free of paid subscriptions. The Nebraska Examiner is independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan, dedicated to producing a vigorous news report about the Cornhusker State. We also provide a forum for commentary. Opinion pieces are labeled as such, and Examiner reporters do not contribute to our commentary. We invite commentary from the community. Read our submission guidelines. 

Concerns over CO₂

By Dean Olson, Illinois Times

Landowners, environmentalists and farmers voice concerns about
the proposed $3 billion Heartland Greenway pipeline.

The steel pipeline, ranging in diameter from six to 24 inches and five feet underground, would receive CO₂ emitted by ethanol and fertilizer plants in South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. The CO₂ would be dehydrated, liquified and put under pressure before entering the pipeline.

It would be the first major project of its type in Illinois and would pass through 13 counties in the state – Sangamon, Hancock, Adams, McDonough, Henry, Knox, Fulton, Schuyler, Brown, Pike, Scott, Morgan and Christian. Read more here.