One of my priority issues is to promote energy efficiency and the development of our renewable energy resources. This will not only strengthen Nebraska's economy but will also ensure an environmentally healthy future for our families.
Municipal leaders across the nation have exerted leadership to reduce global warming emissions in their cities through energy efficient technologies. Currently in Nebraska there are 3 city mayors who have taken on the challenge. I believe the State has an important role to play in encouraging local municipalities to adopt innovative policies that will address this crucial issue.
Nebraska has an abundance of renewable energy resources, including wind, solar and bio-fuels. These resources, however, are woefully underdeveloped. And complacency and lack of direction from policy makers creates a difficult environment for the profitable development of Nebraska's wind energy and renewable energy resources.
Although we need to encourage efforts by individuals, major public policy change is needed to achieve significant energy efficiency and meaningful usage of renewable energy. I plan to tackle public policies that need to be addressed, including tax incentives for renewable energy and efficiency, funding renewable energy research, requiring that a certain percentage of our electricity come from renewable sources and encouraging a green energy component wherever public money is spent.
I am particularly committed to championing the development of wind energy in Nebraska. Recently the Nebraska Public Power District put out a request for proposals for 100 megawatts of new wind development. Although this sounds encouraging it is nowhere close to where we should be (see the graphs below). Not only is Iowa ahead of us today, but they have plans to build 300 megawatts of new wind turbines in the next two years. And in Kansas, there is a proposal to build an additional 1000 megawatts. Nebraska is clearly behind the curve and we need to get up to speed.
If you are concerned about the environment and energy issues, I hope you will join in my campaign to become the next State Senator from District 21.