Tag Archives: Senator Tony Vargas

Nebraska steers VW money to ‘clean diesel’ school bus subsidies

Written by Karen Uhlenhuth, Energy News Network

Critics say Nebraska is spending too much of its Volkswagen settlement money on subsidies for diesel buses when it should be investing in electric vehicles. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has distributed about a quarter of its $12.2 million share from the automaker’s emissions cheating settlement. The money has helped cities and districts purchase 45 buses, with all but two of them running on diesel, propane or compressed natural gas. The agency also plans to put about $3 million into an existing clean diesel program, which pays toward the replacement or retrofitting of trash trucks, school buses, long-haul trucks and irrigation systems. Continue reading here.

Photo: Charging station for low-maintenance, zero-emissions electric school buses.

Nebraska Legislative Bill 678: Create the Volkswagen Settlement Cash Fund and provide duties for the Department of Environmental Quality
Introduced by Senator Tony Vargas
LB 678 Appropriations Committee Hearing: March 20. 2019 at 1:30 pm in Room 1003 

Nebraska Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Conference

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is partnering with the Nebraska Power Association to host the conference on March 25, 2019 at 10 am at the Holthus Convention Center, 3130 Holen Avenue in York. On-site registration and exhibits start at 9 am.

The free conference is intended for those interested in installing public electric vehicle chargers and also for members of the public interested in the development of public electric vehicle charging in Nebraska. If you would like to participate in lunch, snacks and refreshments throughout the day, the fee will be $20 per person. To register, visit: www.evnebraska.com.

Up on the Roof: Dundee DIY

Written by Cheril Lee, The Reader

When Eric Williams, [immediate past president] of Nebraskans for Solar, was looking for a home to buy in 2011, he said one of the primary considerations was the orientation of the home and the slope of the roof. “I was projecting forward and expecting I would want to install solar and generate electricity in my own home,” explained Williams. “So the first step was seeing if the home I was looking at was a good candidate for the future.” In 2012-2013, Williams said he had some casual discussions about solar, talked to some contractors and attended some meetings. “By 2014, I decided I wanted to move forward . . . ”  Continue reading.

ALSO WRITTEN BY CHERIL LEE

The Nebraska Legislature’s Environmental Focus, The Reader

The legislature has a lot they’re trying to accomplish in the next few months. Among the mix of other bills they are working on, Senator Carol Blood and Senator Tony Vargas both have pieces of legislation that are meant to encourage energy efficiency. Senator Blood’s bill LB 87 would, “Redefine a qualified facility and authorize local distribution utilities to waive certain requirements relating to net metering,” according to the Nebraska Legislature’s website.

Blood said this bill would help update an old net metering law, allowing for larger solar installations. Read more.

                 Senator Carol Blood

The legislative session ends on June 2nd. Status of bills is available online at NebraskaLegislature.gov