April 30, 2022

Many ideas considered radical a decade ago now enjoy mainstream support in the environmentalist movement.  Demands to “decarbonize” electricity production are proceeding apace despite the limitations of generating electricity reliably and affordably from renewable sources alone.

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The technology to store energy simply hasn’t kept pace with our ability to generate it, leaving renewable sources like wind and solar handicapped by their inherent intermittency.  Consequently, renewables provide only a fraction of Nebraska’s energy needs and find economic viability only through a regime of heavy government subsidy

Despite this technological deficiency, clean energy advocates still insist we decommission “dirty” sources sooner rather than later.  Cities and regions who have done so have encountered grave disruptions in production and delivery, resulting in rolling blackouts, brownouts, and at times grid failure under heavy demand.

This is not entirely by accident.

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Artificial scarcity raises prices, which in turn reduces consumption, a prime goal of the modern environmental movement.  When combined with mandated lifestyle changes and forced energy retrofits to homes and businesses, renewables advocates claim that the lower production capabilities of clean energy won’t be a problem, being offset by lower demand from consumers.

However, this strategy ignores the problem of meeting baseline energy needs for manufacturing, communications, internet, medical facilities, and even the charging of electric vehicles, none of which is an elective use of power.

Nebraska has 166 publicly owned utilities, including cooperatives and public power districts, serving approximately 1.9 million residents.  We are the only state served entirely by publicly owned utilities.  This publicly owned structure keeps costs low by removing the profit motive from the equation. 

Omaha Public Power District, Nebraska Public Power District, and Lincoln Electrical System are the major players in power generation in our state and are governed by elected boards, which, according to activist group Nebraska Conservation Voters, now boast majorities of “clean energy advocates.”

Races for public power boards aren’t known as high-spending affairs, so the influx of substantial amounts to one candidate over another can easily swing a race.  A good example can be found in the campaign of Aaron Troester, a farmer from O’Neill, Nebraska, who is now the representative for Subdivision 2 on the NPPD board.

A group calling themselves Nebraskans Against Corruption (NAC) sent out a direct mail piece in support of Troester, touting him as the candidate who “will stand up to NG&T  [sic] and stop the corruption.”