On Tuesday, June 25, Pres. Obama laid out his administration’s Climate Action Plan in a speech delivered at Georgetown University. Reactions from Nebraska groups to the President’s climate agenda are outlined below, with quotes from groups including Bold Nebraska, Nebraska Sierra Club, Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Wildlife Federation and the League of Women Voters of Nebraska.


June 25, 2013

Nebraska Joins President Obama’s Call to Climate Action
Citizens Bring Ideas to Address Climate Change with Clean and Local Energy

Lincoln, NE — President Obama on Tuesday announced his “Climate Action Plan” to cut carbon pollution while making the switch to clean energy. Nebraskans in our rural and urban towns stand with President Obama to grow local and clean energy sources to combat climate change that build our state’s economy and protect our kids’ futures.

Building an energy system for a sustainable future must include clean and local production. For too long our state and country have taken the status quo path which has kept us locked into an outdated system prone to shut downs and expensive retrofits.

Nebraska is a top leader in Agriculture but can also be a top leader in clean and local energy with wide-scale efficiency coupled with our wind, solar and biofuel potential.

We will not reach our energy potential by building a trench in the middle of the breadbasket to export the dirtiest form of energy–tarsands–while risking our water and property rights along the way.

Citizens, non-profits, family farmers and ranchers along with small businesses have innovative energy ideas that take climate action while providing jobs. We call on Nebraska’s state and local elected officials to join us in making the switch to clean and local energy and implement these broad ideas:

  • Wind, where having the 3rd best wind resources in the United States, means Nebraska should be poised to capitalize on the need for clean and cheap energy;
  • Biofuels, where our farmers and ranchers can grow cellulosic ethanol, biogas, biodiesel, and other next generation biofuels to match the innovation decades ago that made Nebraska a leader in ethanol production;
  • Energy efficiency, with the potential to keep hundreds of millions of dollars per year in Nebraska, the cleanest and cheapest form of energy is that which we save while saving families money every month;
  • Local energy, where CLEAN contracts (i.e. Clean, Local, Energy, Accessible, Now) could result in local jobs, local investment, and locally-produced energy (e.g. solar) to power our communities giving citizens the chance to be energy producers not just energy consumers.

All this won’t just happen, it will take leadership from President Obama along with our state and local leaders. Nebraska could and should become the “clean energy state,” meeting our own local energy needs while providing clean energy to other states.

Group Quotes

Nebraska Sierra Club, Ken Winston, ken.winston@nebraska.sierraclub.org
“The Nebraska Sierra Club supports President Obama’s plans to cut carbon pollution and address climate change as necessary actions to protect planet earth as a living place for our children. President Obama’s proposals are consistent with the Sierra Club’s campaigns to shut down coal plants and promote clean energy, such as wind, solar and energy efficiency throughout Nebraska, with focused efforts in Lincoln and Omaha. Clean energy will provide jobs and economic benefits to Nebraskans in addition to protecting our air, land and water. Now President Obama needs to show that he is making a serious commitment to his goals as well as a commitment to the future of all our children by denying the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.”

Nebraska Farmers Union, John Hansen, john@nebraskafarmersunion.org
“Reducing carbon emissions is a step forward toward a more responsible future.  The expansion of tarsands represents a huge and unnecessary step backwards.”

Bold Nebraska, Jane Kleeb, jane@boldnebraska.org
“Nebraska has all the pieces to be the ‘clean energy state’ from farmers and ranchers with the grit and resiliency to grow energy, innovative leaders to invest and build local energy companies and citizens who want to produce local and clean energy not just consume coal-based energy. President Obama asked us to take climate action in order to protect our land and water. As we watch his decision on the risky Keystone XL pipeline, today’s plan gives us confidence the President will honor his word to our kids’ futures.”

Nebraska Wildlife Federation, Duane Hovorka, duane@nebraskawildlife.org
“Clean energy is good for people, good for wildlife, and good for our planet. President Obama is showing leadership at the national level to move America towards a clean energy future. Now we need state leaders willing to move our state forward and capitalize on the clean energy resources that are so abundant here.”

League of Women Voters of Nebraska, Sherry Miller, kitty66hawk@yahoo.com
“Nebraska’s Public Power Districts need to carefully assess the hazards and health costs of our coal-fired power plants, then act to replace some of them with clean energy options. And ultimately our goals for renewable energy must be much higher than is currently being discussed by our Public Power representatives.”