Nebraska Public Power District votes to move utility to net-zero carbon emissions

Dec 10, 2021

This week, Nebraska became the latest state and first state that voted for Donald Trump as President, to pass a full net-zero carbon electricity goal. In a 9-2 vote, the Nebraska Public Power District passed the resolution earlier at 1:00PM CST. This follows similar votes from the states other 2 major utility board which cover the vast majority of Nebraska utility customers. Below is a release from Nebraska Conservation Voters with more details on what led to this historic vote and what it means for the state and the country:

COLUMBUS, NE – Today, the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) Board of Directors adopted a decarbonization goal of net-zero carbon by 2050. Nebraska Conservation Voters (NCV), a statewide organization that advocates for policies to protect the environment for future generations, applauded today’s vote:

“This is a historic day for every single Nebraskan. Today’s vote highlights what we have known for years – that Nebraskans from every corner of our state support investing in clean energy and reducing pollution because it makes good environmental and economic sense,” said Eliot Bostar, Nebraska State Senator and Executive Director of NCV. 

With the adoption of this policy, NPPD joins Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Lincoln Electric System (LES), Nebraska’s other two major electric utilities, who have already committed to decarbonization. Nearly every Nebraskan now receives electricity from a utility committed to carbon neutrality.

This is a remarkable shift from where the state was just six years ago. In 2015, the U.S. Energy Information Administration found that Nebraska’s carbon emissions had increased more than any other state’s during the period 2000-2015, largely due to the construction of new coal plants. Now, Nebraska’s electricity sector is committed to decarbonization.

NCV’s Deputy Director, Chelsea Johnson, said: “NPPD’s vote is pro-growth, pro-economic development, pro-jobs, pro-opportunity, and pro-clean air and water. Setting a decarbonization goal signals commitment to all of these principles, so it makes sense that the NPPD Board adopted this policy and that Nebraskans are behind them.”

“In recent election cycles, voters have elected new NPPD Board members who more closely reflect their values. These directors campaigned on clean energy development, the importance of staying abreast of the technological shifts happening in the electricity sector, and making sure that we can continue to provide affordable and reliable energy,” Johnson said. “NCV supported these candidates in their elections and ensured that over the course of the last year, the board heard from their constituents in regards to the decarbonization goal.”

The resolution says in part: “NPPD adopts the goal of achieving “net zero” carbon emissions from NPPD’s generation resources by 2050.”