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Blowing in a New Direction, Renewables on the Rise, Republican Sells Power to OPPD

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The Dilbit Disaster and Keystone XL

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Nebraska’s Clean Energy Future

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Leaders for a Greener Omaha

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The High Cost of Transportation

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NEWS: Update on the Keystone XL pipeline

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Water Amnesia

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Whirling Crops

<p>The TransCanada company wants to install a large-diameter, high-pressure crude oil pipeline called “The XL” through 110 miles of the eight-state High Plains Aquifer, the most valuable portion of which sits under Nebraska’s Sandhills. </p>

Water Amnesia

BY JULIE MEYERS, COURTESY OF PRAIRIE FIRE Scientists now know that ground and surface water should be treated as a single hydrological system, because that's how they behave in nature. Since 1996, Nebraska has changed its law twice to finally recognize this profound connection of surface water and to bring coherency to its water law. But recently, apparently fearful of being viewed by the oil...

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Whirling Crops

When State Sen. Ken Haar drives through Iowa or Colorado and sees the towering turbines that have helped make Nebraska's neighbors national leaders in wind-power production, “It makes me think we've got this great energy resource in Nebraska and we're not using it,” he says. Nebraska is among the country's leaders in potential wind power capacity, but has just nine more wind turbines than it...

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Environmental Alchemy

When it rains in Omaha, it pours raw sewage, industrial waste and toxic chemicals into nearby waterways. The city’s century-old sewer system is designed to either put it there or into your basement. Neither is an inviting option. But that design is changing thanks to a federal mandate from the Environmental Protection Agency. The oldest part of the city — nearly everything east of 72nd St. —...

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New bill offers more control over pipelines

For Nebraskans who felt powerless to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, a few state lawmakers have proposed an answer. State Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton introduced the Hazardous Liquid Pipeline Notification Act, LB 340, Jan. 12 that would require pipeline operators to undergo an extensive application process and seek final approval from the Nebraska Public Service Commission before pumping oil...

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Council approves new green plan for Omaha

The Omaha City Council voted 7-0 on Dec. 14 to approve a comprehensive new environmental plan that proposes changes to everything from how and where new buildings are constructed to luring developers to older areas of the city with new tax perks . Environment Omaha, a collaboration between the city and Omaha by Design, spent two years working on the plan that includes such goals as: reducing...

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TransCanda investigating anomalies along original Keystone pipeline

TransCanada is digging up the original Keystone pipeline in 10 spots, including three in Nebraska, to look at anomalies in the line. A company spokesperson says the digs were part of a federally mandated audit, one of 55 already conducted, to determine if the pipeline had grown beyond limits established by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The proposed Keystone XL...

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NPPD purchases more wind power

A new Nebraska Public Power District contract is helping to revive the state's first wind farm. The Springview Wind Facility in central Nebraska — built as a demonstration plant in 1997 and retired in 2007 — is scheduled to operate again in the middle of next year, following a purchase agreement from the NPPD. The Omaha Public Power District is slated to share in some of the plant's energy...

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Private land, private profit

The letters started coming in July. Canadian oil company TransCanada offered Nebraska landowners along the route of its proposed 1,073 mile Keystone XL Pipeline a “premium price” for easements on their property. The alternative? They’d take the land anyway, through eminent domain. The pipeline would carry 500,000 barrels of tar sands oil each day from Alberta through six states to the...

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