For Immediate Release
April 10, 2014
LINCOLN, NE (April 10, 2014) – Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) President John Hansen praised Governor Dave Heineman, State Senators Mello, Davis, Schilz, and Dubas, along with a diverse coalition made up of farm, business, environmental, conservation, and public power stakeholders for successfully updating the state’s C-BED (Community-Based Energy Development) law with the passage of LB402.
In addition to Governor Heineman, State Senator Heath Mello of Omaha who sponsored LB402, Senator Ken Schilz of Ogallala who co-sponsored LB402, and Senator Al Davis of Hyannis who made LB402 his Priority Bill participated in the LB402 signing ceremony. Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton who was also a LB402 co-sponsor was not able to attend.
In addition to the elected officials participating in the ceremony, Jon Crane of Boyd Jones and Blue Stem LLC, David Levy of Baird Holm, Dean Mueller of Omaha Public Power District, John O’Conner of Nebraska Public Power District, Duane Hovorka of the Nebraska Wildlife Federation, and John Hansen of Nebraska Farmers Union were present. Ken Winston of the Nebraska Sierra Club was unable to attend.
NeFU State President John Hansen noted “Governor Heineman publicly asked the wind community to develop and place an update of our state C-BED law he originally signed in 2007 on his desk for him to sign that would move wind energy forward. Thanks to the hard work and collaborative efforts of this diverse coalition of private and public power interests, we were able to accomplish that mission”, said John Hansen.
LB402 updates and expands the criteria for use of the C-BED law to qualify for sales tax abatement including solar energy in addition to wind energy, allowing Nebraska content of labor, materials, professional services and components, allow corporations domiciled in Nebraska to meet the definition of “qualified owner”, and reduces the qualifying percentage from 33% to 25% to qualify.
“This update of our state’s C-BED law will make it easier to use the C-BED model for renewable energy projects of all sizes. It also puts smaller renewable energy projects on an equal footing with projects over $20 million in size who can use the sales tax abatement contained in LB104 passed in 2013. It rewards renewable energy projects who have local ownership and use more local and state content which is good for our state because those kinds of projects help maximize the economic development benefits of the wind or solar development. LB402 is one more positive step forward in our state’s effort to develop our world class wind and solar resources to the benefit of our landowners, rural communities, environment, and state economy,” Hansen concluded.
Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with 6,000 farm and ranch family members dedicated to protecting and enhancing the economic well-being and quality of life for family farmers and ranchers, and their rural communities. Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives. Visit our webpage at: www.nebraskafarmersunion.org