Archive: 10/2013

Dialogues from Doloria

Chapter XVI of The Dolorian Chronicles
by Paul Olson, NFP President Emeritus


After I had eaten my Dolorian space-biscuit lunch, I entered the mother ship to go back to earth. Stowing my luggage, I overheard Spock speaking from his cubicle, counseling a young Dolorian sent to bring earth-stuff to Doloria. Speaking with gravitas, Spock admonished, “Young man, beware of Americans bearing democracy. They will wreck everything—if given a chance.”

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OPPD Announces Biggest Wind Power Deal Yet

After the November 2010 election, when it became clear that the momentum for federal climate legislation had stalled, Nebraskans for Peace shifted its organizing efforts on climate change to our state's public power utilities. We decided to concentrate our outreach efforts on the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) because of its largely metropolitan—and therefore more compact—service area and governance structure. But we had no real notion of who these people were or what to expect. (And by our own admission, we had a very simplistic understanding of how our public power utilities operate to reliably and affordably keep the lights on for their customer owners.)

Over the past two-and-a-half years, though, we've had the opportunity to personally get to know many of the leadership team members of OPPD, from the CEO, Gary Gates, to directors like Anne McGuire. And we have found them to be thoughtful, open-minded and dedicated public servants—with a real understanding of the role carbon emissions (from the burning of coal) play in climate change.

The announcement yesterday that OPPD will be seeking to add another 400 megawatts of electricity from wind only confirms our already high opinion of this publicly owned utility. Three years ago, OPPD had a corporate goal of getting ten percent of its electricity from renewable sources 2020. With this new wind energy acquisition, OPPD is now on track to be getting 30 percent of its electricity from clean, locally generated resources by the end of 2015—tripling its stated goal a full five years early.

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URGENT ACTION | Tax Modernization Committee Hearing

The Nebraska Legislature created the Tax Modernization Committee during the 2013 session to evaluate the state’s tax code and report back to the Legislature in December. It is important that lawmakers hear from Nebraskans who want the state to continue its investments in good schools, quality health care and strong public safety.

The committee is preparing for this week’s public hearings in Omaha and Lincoln:

Thursday, October 17 – Metro Community College, South Omaha Campus, Omaha, 1:30 – 4:30 pm.
Friday, October 18 – State Capitol Building, Room 1113, Lincoln, 10:00 – 1:00 pm.

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