District Court Strikes Down Injunction Against COOL

WASHINGTON (July 29, 2014) – National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson issued the following statement after receiving news of the District Court of Appeals’ en banc decision on a challenge to enforcement of Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) by the multinational meatpackers and our foreign competitors.  By a 9-2 majority, the panel upheld an earlier 3-judge panel decision to deny an appeal to halt the enforcement of the popular labeling law, passed in 2008.

“NFU, and our broad coalition of consumer and producer organizations, have achieved yet another victory in our long battle to uphold the enforcement of the COOL regulation as modified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA).   This marks the third time that COOL has won in court. There is no need for this case to proceed.

“The Court ruled that the government may require factual, uncontroversial information to be included on a label. American consumers want to know basic information about where their meat comes from, and livestock producers across this great nation are very proud of what they produce and happy to let consumers know where their meat comes from.  USDA’s new COOL rules will significantly improve the information available to consumers by reducing confusion about the origins of meat products.  It will also provide U.S. livestock producers the opportunity to differentiate their products, which they are proud to claim as theirs.”

President of American Wind Energy Association to Open 7th Annual Nebraska Wind & Solar Conference

Lincoln, NE- Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), will open the seventh annual Nebraska Wind and Solar Conference and Exhibition with the Current State of Wind Development on Wednesday, October 29 at 8:45 a.m. This year’s conference, “Turning Challenges into Nebraska Opportunities,” will be October 29-30, 2014 at the La Vista Conference Center.

“We are pleased to have Tom Kiernan open our conference this year,” said Adam Herink, Conference Co-chair. “Tom and AWEA have been at the forefront of wind energy advocacy for many years now.”

Tom Kiernan took the Chief Executive Officer reins of AWEA in May of 2013, and spent the previous 15 years as President of the National Parks Conservation Association. Kiernan graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Environmental Computer Modeling and pursued his Masters of Business Administration at Stanford Graduate School of Business. While at Stanford, he served as Assistant to the Director of Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality.

After college, Kiernan joined the Environmental Protection Agency as Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator. A year later, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the Office of Air and Radiation, and later appointed Deputy Assistant Administrator where he was instrumental in the implementation the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments.

“Tom’s experience and education is the foundation for his support of the expansion of wind energy,” said Dan McGuire, conference Co-Chair. “He knows the increase of wind energy use will have a positive impact on the environment and in Nebraska rural communities.”

Registration for the conference is $100 before September 29, $125 between September 29 and October 28 and $150 for walk-in registrations the day of the conference. For participant registration, and to view the program, go to www.NebraskaWindandSolarConference.com .

For hotel reservations, contact Embassy Suites Omaha-La Vista/Hotel & Conference Center, 12520 Westport Pkwy, La Vista, NE 68128, 402-331-7400. To view last year’s presentations, go to http://www.neo.ne.gov/renew/wind-working-group/2012conference.htm.

NEBFARMPAC announced their unanimous endorsement for the re-election of Mary Harding for NPPD District 1

For Immediate Release

May 2, 2014

NEBFARMPAC Secretary and Nebraska Farmers Union President John Hansen said “Our organization has enjoyed an extremely positive working relationship with Mary Harding for the past 12 years.   Mary Harding is a competent, professional, and effective member of the NPPD Board.  She is committed to protecting the integrity of the public power system.  She is also committed to listening to the owners of our state’s unique public power system.  Mary’s solid track record of accomplishments on the NPPD Board the past 12 years cause us to applaud her no nonsense business approach to financial matters and management.  Our NEBFARMPAC Board endorses her for re-election with enthusiasm and confidence.”

Hansen noted that Mary Harding has been a champion of supporting efficient, cost effective energy options for customers and using our public power system to help build a strong economy for Nebraska.  She currently Chairs the NPPD Budget Committee and served as 7 years as their Corporate Secretary.   “Mary Harding does her homework.  She supports cost effective wind energy when it can be locked in at bargain basement prices for 20 years that can be used to diversify the NPPD generation portfolio while also creating new jobs and sources of revenue for rural residents and landowners.  She understand the critical positive role our public power system can play in helping strengthening our rural economy while keeping rates down by using wind energy that uses no water or emits any emissions including carbon.”

NEBFARMPAC is the political action committee of the Nebraska Farmers Union, a non-partisan, not-for-profit general farm organization with over 6,000 farm and ranch family memberships, founded in 1913.  Its mission is to protect and enhance the quality of life and economic well-being of family farmers and ranchers and their rural communities.  Since 1913, Nebraska Farmers Union has helped organize over 445 cooperatives, and is the acknowledged leader in the development of farm based renewable energy including ethanol and wind energy.

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NEBFARMPAC Announces 2014 Primary Endorsements

For Immediate Release
May 1, 2014

NEBFARMPAC Announces 2014 Primary Endorsements

(Lincoln, Neb.)  The Nebraska Farmers Union’s Political Action Committee, NEBFARMPAC, announced its endorsements for the 2014 Primary Election.

The NEBFARMPAC Board endorsed candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress, Governor, Legislature, Nebraska Public Power District, Omaha Public Power District, Norris Public Power District, Stanton County Power District, various Natural Resource Districts, Northeast Community College, Metropolitan Community College, and the State Board of Education.

Sixteen of the NEBFARMPAC endorsed candidates for the Primary are members of Nebraska Farmers Union.  “We encourage our members to be good citizens by getting informed on the issues, to get constructively engaged in the public policy process, and to consider running for public office themselves,” said John Hansen, NEBFARMPAC Secretary.   “We need candidates who work well with others to solve problems and make our government work as it should.”

* Denotes Nebraska Farmers Union Members

U.S. Senate:  Dave Domina (D)

First Congressional District:  Jeff Fortenberry (R)

Second Congressional District:  Brad Ashford (D)

Governor:  *Chuck Hassebrook (D)

Members of the Legislature:

District 2: Mel Luetchens

District 26:  *Larry Weixelman

District 32: Phil Hardenburger

District 46: Adam Morfield

State Board of Education:  District 6:  *Maureen Nickels

Board of Regents University of Nebraska:  District 5:  Steve Glenn

Metropolitan Community College:  District 1: *Judy Domina and District 2: David Newell

Northeast Community College:  District 4: *Donald Frank

Nebraska Public Power District: 

Subdivision 1: *Mary Harding (incumbent)

Subdivision 2: *Ross Knott

Subdivision 7: *Ken Kunze (incumbent)

Subdivision 9: *Danny Kluthe

Omaha Public Power District:

Subdivision 2:   Anne McGuire (Incumbent)

Subdivision 2: *Matthew Cronin

Norris Public Power District:  Subdistrict 7: *Vern Jantzen

Stanton County Public Power District:  *Donald Frank

Central Platte Natural Resources District:  Subdistrict 7: *Ed Stoltenberg

Lower Platte South Natural Resources District:  Subdistrict 8:  *Tom Green

Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District:

Subdistrict 1: *Dave Negus

Subdistrict 6: *Donald Frank

Upper Elkhorn Natural Resources District 

At Large: *Christopher Dierks

Subdistrict 7: *Keith Heithoff

Gale Lush of Wilcox, NEBFARMPAC President said “Seventeen State Senators have served for eight years and are not able to run for re-election as the result of term limits.  That is over a third of the Legislature.  As voters, we have to do our homework on the new candidates we will choose from in the Primary.  Our NEBFARMPAC Board of Directors felt it necessary for us to weigh in on the races where there were clear pro-family farm and ranch candidates.  We thank all the candidates that have filed for election.  Filing for office takes both courage and commitment to public service.”

“Our NEBFARMPAC Board gives serious consideration to candidates that are Farmers Union members, and also to elected officials with whom we have a positive working relationship and have earned our support by virtue of their track record of accomplishments as an elected official,” Lush concluded.

NEBFARMPAC is the political arm of the Nebraska Farmers Union, the state’s second largest general farm organization, organized in 1913.  Nebraska Farmers Union has over 6,000 farm and ranch family memberships, and strives to protect and enhance the economic well-being and quality of life of family farmers and ranchers, and the rural communities they live in through education, cooperation, and legislation based on the policies developed and adopted through grassroots membership.    

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Family Farming and Ranching is the Economic Engine of our State

For Immediate Release

April 29, 2014

Lincoln, NE (April 29, 2014) – In celebration of the United Nations’ International Year of Family Farming for the month of May, Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) is highlighting the economic value and importance of family farm and ranch agriculture and their rural communities has in our state and nation.

NeFU President John Hansen said “As our country population continues to shift from rural to urban, our focus at Nebraska Farmers Union in the International Year of Family Farming is to not only draw attention to the important economic role family farm agriculture plays in rural communities, but our state and nation including urban communities.  When family farmers and ranchers are profitable, they are a major source of new wealth in our national economy, and a major economic driver that creates jobs and tax revenues from the farm to the city.”

NeFU noted from the latest available ag statistics from USDA, that Nebraska is ranked first in commercial red meat production, cattle slaughter, Great Northern beans production, irrigated land harvested, and popcorn production. Nebraska is ranked second in the nation in all cattle and calves, Pinto beans production, and beef and veal exports, third in corn for grain production, corn for exports, all dry edible beans production, Proso millet production, and third in cash receipts from all farm commodities.

When the production of all grain and livestock is considered, family farm and ranch agriculture in Nebraska produces over $24 billion of new wealth to Nebraska’s economy, which is 6.2% of the U.S. total.  “The diversity and capacity of Nebraska agriculture is truly amazing.  When we say ‘So goes agriculture, so goes Nebraska’, we are describing the economic engine of our state.  It is important that our public officials and general population do not take the economic blessings of our agricultural production for granted,” said Hansen.

While Nebraska agriculture is enormously productive, it still struggles with rural depopulation as do rural states across the nation.  NeFU noted that according to the 2010 U.S. Census, 59.5 million people or 19% of the total U.S. population lives in rural areas.  This compares to a worldwide rural population that consists of 46%.  Although 19% of the U.S. population lives in rural America, only 10% of the medical physicians practice medicine in rural communities.  That puts a strain on both accessibility and affordability of health care services.

Adding to the challenges of distance for access to health and other services and merchandise is the fact that only 11% of rural U.S. residents live in areas where high speed broadband access is readily available to farm residents as compared to 100% access for their urban counterparts.  “In 2014, everyone in our nation regardless of where they live should have access to affordable high speed broadband internet services,” Hansen said.  “Rural residents need the latest weather, markets, crop and general news information.  Like all businesses, they need to send and receive documents and attachments, check their email, and use the internet to expand their marketing opportunities.”

“Family farming and ranching continues to be the economic engine of our state and national economies.  Through their hard work and skills, Nebraska farm and ranch families create $24 billion of new wealth,  jobs, economic activity, and tax revenues that power our state and nation,” concluded John Hansen, NeFU President

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                         

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Nebraska Farmers Union Opposes Proposed USDA’s APHIS Regulations To Allow Meat Imports From Brazil

For Immediate Release                                                                                                 Contact:           John Hansen 402-476-8815

April 21, 2014                                                                                                                                    john@nebraskafarmersunion.org

Lincoln, NE - Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) filed official comments today with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to oppose proposed regulations that would relax restrictions on imports of livestock, meat, and animal products from a region of Brazil that has been affected by Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD).

“NeFU is opposed to this change because the imports from this region of Brazil because FMD poses an enormous unnecessary risk to the U.S. domestic cattle herd, and that very real risk far exceeds any potential benefits from Brazilian imports,” said John Hansen, NeFU President.

NeFU stated in their written testimony:

“Based on estimates from a 2002 Purdue study, at a minimum, the U.S. beef industry would lose over $14 billion in 2002 dollars.  In 2014 dollars, that would amount to $17.984 billion.  We believe that study to be very conservative.  For example, there is much more market place concentration the beef sector today than there was 12 years ago. Our domestic marketplace is more easily manipulated today than it was 12 years ago by virtue of additional concentration, and captive supply.

There is a reason Brazil does not have all of its states FMD free today.  FMD is very hard to control and eradicate.  And, for the very same reason that Brazil does not have all of its states FMD free is why the U.S. herd is at risk when beef products are introduced to the U.S. from Brazil.  There is altogether too much slippage within Brazil relative to its own control and eradication efforts.  There is also too much of an internal economic benefit to move cattle around so as to take advantage of the beef export market to assume that would not happen.  Our livestock producers strongly believe that Brazil poses a significant threat to U.S. livestock herds.

A FMD outbreak in the U.S. would not only cause a major loss of consumer confidence in our domestic beef consumption market, it would raise havoc with our export market for years to come.  There is not a compelling reason why we should unnecessarily put our domestic herd at risk by allowing meat imports into the U.S. from Brazil.”

NeFU President Hansen concluded “We agree with the conclusions of LR482 passed last week by the Nebraska Legislature brought by Senator Al Davis of Hyannis that we supported in the Agriculture Committee that asks USDA to withdraw its proposed regulations until such time as all of Brazil is FMD certified free.   That is the prudent and wise approach to take,”

Click here to read NeFU’s Testimony

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

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Nebraska Farmers Union PAC Says David Domina is the Best Choice for Agriculture and Nebraska

For Immediate Release
April 17, 2014

Lincoln, NE. NEBFARMPAC, the political action committee of the Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska’s second largest general farm organization with over 6,000 farm and ranch families announced its unanimous and enthusiastic endorsement of David Domina for Senate.

The NEBFARMPAC Board of Directors issued the following statement:

“Agriculture is the largest single industry in our state. So goes agriculture, so goes Nebraska’s economy and fiscal condition. Production agriculture is heavily impacted by federal agricultural and regulatory policies and actions. It is critical that Nebraska’s next Senator be an effective advocate for our state.

David Domina presents Nebraska voters with the rare opportunity to send someone to the U.S. Senate to represent our state’s primary economic interests with an extensive background and expertise in the agricultural issues and sectors that impact family farm agriculture, our state’s largest single industry.

The two recent historic failures of Congress to re-authorize the all-important Farm Bill before it expired should serve as a wake-up call for rural states like Nebraska for the need for them to send representatives to Congress that have the ability to work well with others, solve problems, and get things done.

David Domina has expertise in ethanol and wind energy incentives and programs critical to our state.
For example, Nebraska is the second leading ethanol producing state in the nation and has a huge stake in the EPA proposed regulations that would roll back the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) ethanol production targets for 2014. David Domina is the only United States Senatorial candidate to have cared enough about the issue to take a firm position in support of ethanol by summiting his own personally drafted comments to the EPA.

Nebraska currently has 24 active ethanol production plants in Nebraska, with a combined production capacity of over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year. These ethanol plants represent more than $5 billion in capital investment in the state and provide direct employment for some 1,200 Nebraskans. Ethanol development is by far the most effective rural economic development strategy ever implemented in our state by virtue of its expanded tax base, good paying jobs, and additional rural incomes from both grain and livestock producers.

David Domina supports the extension of the federal Production Tax Credits for wind. Nebraska’s world class wind resources are ranked third in the nation. Wind energy is cost effective, does not emit carbon, uses no water, and brings huge capital investments into rural communities that expand local tax bases providing property tax relief to local property owners while also providing additional earned income to project landowners and good paying jobs with benefits to local communities.

David Domina is a proven champion for ag-market place reforms needed to fix the currently concentrated, non-competitive, vertically integrated agricultural markets that have failed Nebraska and U.S. livestock producers. Since 1980, the U.S. has lost 91% of its hog producers, 82% of its dairy producers, 42% of its beef producers, and 33% of its sheep producers. That is a state and national disgrace.

David Domina understands the importance of having healthy functioning ag markets that are fair, accessible, competitive and transparent so they can perform their critical function for price discovery and value allocation.

David Domina supports COOL (Country of Origin Labeling) so that food consumers have the information they need to make informed buying decision and domestic food producers can identify and differentiate their own higher quality products in their own domestic markets. If our domestic producers produce higher quality products, they are entitled to the marketplace benefits and advantages of producing better products. COOL is a win-win for meat producers and consumers.

NEBFARMPAC believes that if we are going to get more young producers started in livestock production, we must have ag and livestock markets that work as they should. David Domina understands the problems we face, and has the right set of skills and expertise to help us fix our broken ag marketing system.

“We know that Nebraska agriculture will be well served by sending David Domina to the Senate. His expertise in water and private property rights will serve our state well in the United States Senate,” said NEBFARMPAC President Gale Lush of Wilcox.

John Hansen, NEBFARMPAC Secretary said “Our Board of Directors recognizes the rare opportunity to send someone with David Domina’s set of problem solving skills, integrity, and common sense to Washington, D.C. to represent us. His background and unique approach to solving complicated issues, and his communication skills are just what is needed these days in the United States Senate,” said John Hansen, NEBFARMPAC Secretary.

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Nebraska Farmers Union Board Calls on Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation to Endorse and Advocate Passage of the Wind Energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Support the Ethanol RFS

For Immediate Release                                                                                Contact:  John Hansen (402) 476-8815

April 15, 2014

Lincoln, NE, April 15 – At their recent spring meeting, the Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) Board of Directors unanimously adopted a resolution calling on all members of Nebraska’s Congressional Delegation to actively support and advocate for inclusion and passage of the renewable energy Production Tax Credit (PTC) and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that were included April 3 with bipartisan support as part of the tax extenders package as reported out by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.

“We applaud the work of the Senate Finance Committee and urge Nebraska’s U.S. Senate and House of Representative members to actively push for swift passage of this critically important policy driver for continued growth of the Nebraska and U.S. wind energy industry,” said Dan McGuire NeFU District 5 Director from Lincoln. “It’s one thing to talk about supporting renewable energy, but voting for the PTC and ITC is the real test. We need Nebraska’s entire delegation to weigh in quickly and announce their support so that the PTC and ITC extension will send the right message to investors so wind energy development can expand on the estimated 85,000 jobs it has already created. These incentives have facilitated investments of $15 billion a year into new U.S. wind farms and created orders for over 550 American factories in the supply chain according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

“Extension of the PTC and ITC is a big economic deal for Nebraska’s future wind energy development. Nebraskans need the U.S. House of Representatives to act in a positive way as soon as possible just as the Senate Finance Committee did,” said John Hansen, NeFU President. “Nebraska is estimated to have an installed capacity of just over 1,200 megawatts (MW) of wind energy by the end of 2015 based on the prior PTC that expired 12/31/2013. Nebraska has the opportunity to do so much more as a state to capture the rural economic development benefits that go hand-in-hand with the wind energy PTC and ITC. These are critical public policy tools that are essential for Nebraska to catch up to our bordering states that are outdistancing Nebraska in terms of wind energy development. Iowa and South Dakota are getting over 20% of their electric generation from wind energy because they know how to use the wind PTC and ITC. The Congressional delegations in those states weigh in and support the PTC and ITC as does the Governor’s Wind Coalition.”

“The time is now and it is critical that Nebraska’s entire Congressional delegation publicly state their support for and commitment to defend the ethanol Renewable Fuels Standards against attacks from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and anti-renewable energy activists,” said Gale Lush, NeFU District 3 Director from Wilcox. “I want to remind everyone that ethanol is an economic superstar for Nebraska’s economy. There are currently 24 active ethanol production plants in Nebraska, with a combined production capacity of over 2 billion gallons of ethanol each year, and requiring more than 700 million bushels of grain in the process. These ethanol plants represent more than $5 billion in capital investment in the state and provide direct employment for some 1,200 Nebraskans.  Nebraska ranks second in the nation in ethanol production, and is the largest ethanol producer west of the Missouri River. Geographic position, abundant ethanol supply and reliable, competitive rail transportation give Nebraska a strategic advantage in serving ethanol markets in the western U.S. And Distillers Dried Grains (DDGS) is helping Nebraska’s livestock feeding industry become the national leader.”

“It’s no wonder that over 5,000 Nebraska farmers sent comments to EPA opposing their plan to reduce the RFS target,” Vern Jantzen, NeFU Vice President from Plymouth added. “Nebraska’s ag economics professor Bruce Johnson’s analysis showed that ethanol is a key component of Nebraska’s “Golden Triangle” of corn, cattle and ethanol. Johnson reports that ethanol’s 2010 economic contribution in Nebraska included: Direct receipts of $3.4 billion with indirect (multiplier) impacts on other businesses results totaling $4.5 billion in business receipts; total direct and multiplier impacts of $928,000,000 in gross state product; direct labor income of $223 million and a total of $585 million with the multiplier; and 3,000 direct jobs and nearly 8,000 more when indirect jobs are considered. Ethanol does all of this while reducing gasoline prices at the pump for consumers by over $1.00 per gallon. We need all hands on deck to protect the ethanol RFS.  It is critical to the ongoing economic success of our state.”

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

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LB402 Bill Signing is a Positive Step Forward for Wind And Solar Development in Nebraska

For Immediate Release

April 10, 2014 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

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NeFU Says Court Decision to Overturn LB1161 is an Enormous Victory for Landowner Rights and Due Process

Lincoln, NE – Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) is extremely pleased with today’s court decision ruling LB 1161 unconstitutional, and is proud of our landowners, members, and the legal team.  This court decision affirms our initial suspicions that we clearly voiced at every step of the process with the Nebraska Legislature about the constitutionality of circumventing the siting and routing process that had already been approved in the 2011 Special Session LB1.  We said this was special use legislation, that it was unconstitutional, and lacked the appropriate safeguards and process for the use of eminent domain.

 

This is an enormous victory for our landowners, for the protection of private property rights relative to the proper use of eminent domain, for due process, and for the legal system.  Landowner attorney David Domina and his legal team did an outstanding job, as did our landowners Susan Straka, Susan Dunavan, and Randy Thompson.

 

TransCanada’s arrogance once again appropriately bit them.  The President cannot approve a pipeline that does not have an approved route through the State of Nebraska.

 

The entire TransCanada process in Nebraska has been a process of unending shortcuts.  TransCanada took a shortcut over the Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer which was problematic.  They then took a shortcut in due process in the Nebraska Legislature.  And in both cases these shortcuts led to a dead end.  This ruling is a perfect example of what happens when you take procedural shortcuts and violate our constitution.

 

Nebraska Farmers Union is a general farm organization with more than 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.

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