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Neb. lawmaker says Sandhills wind farm ban still on the table  

Credit:  Karen Uhlenhuth | February 5, 2018 | energynews.us ~~

The author of a Nebraska bill to broaden public comment on wind farm permits in the state says he’s prepared to bring a harsher measure if it doesn’t pass.

State Sen. Tom Brewer, a Republican who represents the scenic Sandhills region in northwestern Nebraska, said he’s willing to reintroduce a bill from last year that would have imposed a two-year moratorium on wind development in the region.

The lawmaker characterized this year’s bill as an attempt to “make sure we know what’s going on as we move forward,” but if it gets held up, he said it “probably will inspire bringing SB504 out of committee.”

SB504 was introduced late in the 2017 session and didn’t move beyond the committee. In addition to barring wind development in the Sandhills, it called for establishing a task force to recommend longer-term policy for the region.

“We think this is a more reasonable position. It isn’t stopping wind altogether,” Brewer said of his current bill, which was heard in committee on Thursday.

This year’s bill, LB1054, would broaden the range of public comment allowed on wind farm proposals before the state’s Power Review Board. Currently, the board only hears comments pertaining to three distinct issues, which are largely the province of utility staff, according to the board’s executive director, Tim Texel.

Brewer’s proposal would open proceedings to concerns about aesthetics, noise, health concerns, property values and wildlife habitat. That could vastly expand the scope of the state approval process. The bill is now before the Senate Natural Resources Committee.

Source:  Karen Uhlenhuth | February 5, 2018 | energynews.us

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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