Environment & Agriculture

South Dakota committee advances bill to stop carbon pipelines from using eminent domain

BY: - February 7, 2023

PIERRE, South Dakota — A bill intended to prevent two proposed carbon pipeline projects from using eminent domain passed a legislative committee Monday. The committee considered a total of six bills aimed at giving landowners more power in their fight against the pipeline projects. It was the first step in the legislative process for each of […]


Pillen plan to shift valuation of ag land gets static, even from farm groups

BY: - February 3, 2023

LINCOLN — Gov. Jim Pillen’s plan to relieve property taxes paid by farmers and ranches got a rough reception Friday, even from some farm groups. The head of the state’s largest agriculture group, the Nebraska Farm Bureau, said Pillen’s plan to shift the valuation method from being based on recent sales of land to its […]

Trade agreements, access to foreign markets debated in U.S. Senate farm bill hearing

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON – In its first meeting of the new congressional session, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry gathered Wednesday for a hearing on the trade and horticulture titles in the upcoming farm bill.  The legislators prioritized enforcing the nation’s agricultural trade agreements, expanding access to international markets and supporting underserved producers.  “The […]


Contaminants from AltEn plant found in more homes, streams and soil

BY: - January 30, 2023

MEAD, Nebraska — Residents near the closed AltEn ethanol plant were told Monday night that contaminants found in area homes were “significantly higher” than those found in houses in Omaha and another rural community, Kennard. But investigators with the University of Nebraska Medical Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Creighton University said that more research is […]


Bankers say proposal on ‘environmental, social and governance’ too broad, amendments needed

BY: - January 30, 2023

LINCOLN — A proposal aimed at preventing a Nebraska State Treasurer from using state funds for “social and political” goals ran into complaints Monday that it was too vague and meddled too much in banking decisions. Robert Hallstrom of the Nebraska Bankers Association said that banks have traditionally been free to “lend to, invest in […]

Nebraska Environmental Trust

Proposal slammed to transfer $14 million from Environmental Trust to water fund

BY: - January 30, 2023

LINCOLN — Deep inside Gov. Jim Pillen’s budget proposal is a plan to divert $14 million from the Nebraska Environmental Trust to a state agency’s water resources fund, a transfer condemned as a “mockery” of the intent of the Trust. W. Don Nelson, a former official who served three Nebraska governors, said Thursday that the […]

Nebraska attorney general joins 24 other states in effort to block rule on ESG investing

BY: - January 27, 2023

LINCOLN — Nebraska has joined 24 other red states in a lawsuit seeking to block a new rule they claim frees up 401K managers to invest in so-called “environmental, social and governance” funds. The states argue that the U.S. Department of Labor is exceeding its authority by adopting a rule that allows fiduciaries to consider […]

pillen billboard

New governor fires back at ‘cheap stunts’ attacking his hog farms

BY: - January 24, 2023

LINCOLN — Newly sworn-in Gov. Jim Pillen is firing back at billboards in Lincoln and Columbus that went up recently attacking the governor’s hog operations, calling the billboards “cheap stunts.” Pillen, in a press release Tuesday, said the aim of the billboards was to “destroy Nebraska’s way of life by shutting down our state’s largest industry […]

chicken barns

Bill aims to protect farmers from nuisance lawsuits, restricting who can file and when

BY: - January 23, 2023

LINCOLN — A proposed revision to Nebraska’s “right to farm” law, promoted as increasing protections for farmers, is being condemned by environmentalists as a way to eliminate nearly all nuisance lawsuits. Under Legislative Bill 662, introduced Wednesday by State Sen. Beau Ballard of Lincoln, only landowners who live within a half-mile of agricultural operation, and […]

Affordable, reliable and sustainable: report compares utility performance 

BY: - January 19, 2023

A nationwide comparison of electric utility performance by an Illinois consumer advocacy group found that customers in states that are heavily reliant on fuel oil and natural gas, as in the Northeast and South, tend to pay more than those with larger amounts of carbon-free generation, among other findings.  The report by the Illinois-based Citizens […]


‘Right to repair’ advocate plans to wait and see if recent MOU really helps

BY: - January 17, 2023

LINCOLN — If a tractor on State Sen. Tom Brandt’s farm near Plymouth breaks down, he doesn’t reach for a wrench but for a telephone — because only a John Deere technician can discern what a computer-coded alert of a problem means on one of its modern tractors or combines. It costs $150 an hour […]

States that limit business with banks that boycott fossil fuels could pay high cost, study says

BY: - January 17, 2023

Republican state policymakers’ efforts to boost fossil fuels by prohibiting their governments from doing business with companies that take sustainability into consideration has the potential to cost states millions, according to a study released Thursday. Researchers looked specifically at the possible effects on Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and West Virginia if they passed Texas-like […]