Read today’s news from around the state and country. Each day in the Roundup we cover politics, always with a side of bold humor. We think politics should be fun, informative and encourage us all to take action.

Wednesday, November 21st

The World Bank has issued a call to action for the nations of the world to immediately cut greenhouse gas emissions–one of the key areas needing cuts is energy production, the World Bank has declared. Linking climate change to causing decreased food production, massive loss of biodiversity, and a major increase in flooding and drought, the World Bank also said that “we will never end poverty if we don’t tackle climate change.” Citing the “unheard of consensus” in the scientific world that human’s use of fossil fuels has a direct impact on climate change, the World Bank President called on nations to reduce the amount of coal used because it is one of the dirtiest forms of fuel. We have a couple of opportunities here in Nebraska to reduce our nation’s carbon footprint. We need to keep fighting the KXL, which if built would directly cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and in turn help speed up climate change. We also have an opportunity to drastically reduce our coal consumption–we have the 4th highest potential in wind power in the entire nation.

Bill McKibben’s Do the Math Tour is a follow-up of his summer article in Rolling Stone titled “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math.” In the article, McKibben lays out three numbers that are all we need to know in order to be inspired to mobilize against the fossil fuel industry. After divulging what we are up against in order to keep our planet and livelihoods stable, McKibben tells us what we need to do. Check out the article here, then go here to buy your tickets to join us in Omaha for the Do the Math Tour, where McKibben will pick up where his article left off and we will grow the movement to stand up to the fossil fuel industry.

If you have been reading the news on the KXL lately, you will likely have come across many pundits saying that the pipeline will get approved. It’s coming from Congressmen, investment analysts, and the media, who are saying that Obama has no reason to not approve it. Well, we and hundreds of thousands of others say that he has no reason to approve it. Check out the National Wildlife Federation’s “5 Reasons Why the President will Reject Keystone XL” to get a summary of just the top reasons why we are expecting a much different answer from the President if we keep up the fight. Read here


Monday, November 19th

Johanns is Out of Touch: On Friday, 18 Senators sent a letter to President Obama requesting he meet with them “in the near future” to discuss the KXL. In the letter, these Senators (including our own Sen. Johanns) regurgitated the false claims that the pipeline will create thousands of jobs and improve our nation’s energy security. The letter contained a sense of urgency, probably because two days later thousands of people (most likely more than would be employed to build the pipeline) marched to the White House to demand that President Obama deny the KXL. By signing onto this letter, Sen. Johanns demonstrated how out of touch he is with Nebraskans and the current state of affairs in our state. If he is fully aware of where we are at in the process, it is highly unethical for him to give the impression that Nebraska is basically settled on the KXL.The letter implies that it is essentially finalized, when we know that in reality, the public still has to give its input (learn more about the DEQ process and submit your comment here), and there are major flaws with the DEQ’s analysis that are simply unacceptable. Furthermore, the outcome of the landowner lawsuit against LB 1161 is still up in the air.

A New Unicam: This year’s election was about bringing New Energy to all levels of government–and Nebraskans definitely did that when voting on candidates for the unicam. One of the implications of the election results for the state legislature is that the GOP majority has been decreased–which Joe Jordan notes as being significant because it will make it more difficult for the governor to slide his agenda through the legislature. Given the Gov’s recent support for the KXL pipeline (despite his previous concerns) and his refusal to have Nebraska create a state health insurance exchange, we think ensuring a healthy balance of power between the governor and the legislature is very important. We’re looking forward to working with the new crop of of senators to enact policies that support our environment and bring New Energy to Nebraska. Read here

Working for Another Victory: On December 5th, Nebraskans for Civic Reform is hosting an art show to celebrate last year’s victory against Sen. Janssen’s voter ID bill, and to raise funds to fight Voter ID again–Janssen plans bring it back for this year’s session. Ten of Nebraska’s most talented graphic designers have contributed art for the show, which will be held at Oxide Design in Omaha from 6:30 to 9 pm. Check out details here