We Work hard to be Good Stewards of the Planet
Did you know that 30 percent of Nebraska’s electricity comes from non-carbon emitting resources? Hydroelectric and nuclear energy, in addition to other renewable energy resources, help Nebraska to average more than 30 percent fewer carbon emissions than our neighboring states. Only South Dakota with an abundant supply of hydroelectric and natural gas generation has lower carbon emissions.
Long-term resource planning has allowed Nebraska’s public power systems to be good stewards of the environment while at the same time taking advantage of less costly energy generation resources. It is true that Nebraska’s wind energy potential is quite good. Of the 24 states that have developed more wind energy than Nebraska however, only nine have fewer carbon emissions per megawatt hour of energy produced.
Federal regulations have a direct and significant impact on the costs of electricity. Electric generators spend tens of millions of dollars complying with emission regulations governing sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NOx), mercury, and particulate emissions. In addition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed rules governing the carbon emissions of new and existing power plants. These regulations will continue to be a driving force in the increase of electric rates.
Nebraska’s rural electric systems are working hard to strike a balance between environmental responsibility, low-cost, and a reliable electric supply. To achieve this balance we need long-term statewide planning by engineers and operational experts familiar with the electric industry and whose job it is to ensure reliable electric service does not suffer. To understand this complicated issue, we must separate the rhetoric from the reality of power delivery. We need to have an open and honest discussion about protecting the integrity of our electrical system and keeping rates affordable while continuing to pursue the development of new and cleaner generation resources.