Ricketts pushes back against 30×30

NORFOLK —  An effort from the Biden administration to become more eco-friendly is getting criticism from Nebraska’s governor. Pete Ricketts spoke at town halls in Clay Center and Norfolk Thursday on his complaints.

The “30 X 30” plan is a proposal by the Biden administration to protect 30% of U.S. environment by 2030. The proposal so far lists goals such as preserving wilderness, creating recreation jobs, and rewarding farmers who cooperate.

But Nebraska’s governor is not buying what he’s heard so far.

“One of the problems with the 30×30 plan is it is so vague, they won’t tell us what they’re going to do,” Ricketts said. 

Ricketts said the purpose of these town halls is to raise awareness about the plan and its potential. He said Nebraskans should look out for sudden conservation projects or property tax hikes on their land.

“What I’m here doing is letting people know they have to be on the lookout for things like permanent conservation easements,” he said. 

The proposal does not mandate what specific projects will be created where, or how much they will cost, or who will pay for them yet at this time. 

The governor sent a letter to the president asking which land and which water would be impacted, how that’s decided, and what federal agency will be responsible for checking on progress. Biden’s proposal does state that the Department of the Interior would be measuring progress, but the other questions are still unanswered. 

Ricketts believes that means it could actually be an attempt at a federal land grab. 

While the dozens in the audience at Norfolk’s Johnny Carson Theatre supported the governor, questions focused more on the convention of states, education, and Biden’s legitimacy as president.