Events promote clean energy in northeast Nebraska

NORFOLK -- Climate change is making headlines again. Not just nationally -- but in northeast Nebraska, where several events this week have aimed to start a conversation.

A new U.N. Report said we are facing a "code red" climate change crisis. Officials in Nebraska are taking the issue up themselves.

"I really believe that the opportunities of expanding clean energy development in Nebraska propose significant benefits to all the residents of the state," said sen. Eliot Bostar of District 21 (D). He argues clean energy industries like wind turbines bring new jobs and a better economy to the state. 

He, along with other state and local leaders, held a press conference in Norfolk Thursday at the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce, in support of a coalition to promote clean energy. They want to encourage businesses to adopt renewable energy practices.

"Since 2000, in the military, we determined that climate change is a destabilizing force in the world," said Janece Mollhoff, board director of Omaha Public Power District. 

At the same time - the Nebraska Public Power District is holding public meetings across the state. They want people to understand the concept - before they buy in.

At their first meeting Wednesday, officials offered several polls asking people what they want to know about decarbonization, what concerns they have, and how much they do or do not approve of NPPD's efforts to decarbonize so far. 

"People are apprehensive about any kind of change, and that makes sense. It's important for those with reservations to do what they can to become more informed," Bostar said.

Still - it's a hard sell for some.

"It makes me aggravated because I don't think we're ready for it, to make it for farmers to adapt to it," said Derry Anderson, a retired cattle farmer.

While it may take time to change minds, NPPD hopes that in 15 years, they can reduce their dependency on coal. They'll continue to host these meetings to get people informed.

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