Lancaster County Board of Commissioners vote on wind turbine regulations

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — The Lancaster County Board of Commissioners discusses and votes on wind turbine regulations for the community.

This meeting comes after a public hearing was held on the matter Thursday, Feb. 11.

Commissioner Rick Vest stresses that the decisions made today will be the final vote on this subject. The text amendment will be revised, but this will be the final vote.

See also: Did renewable energy lead to local power outages?

Commissioner Deb Schorr spoke in support of the wind turbines saying “It seems strange that we’re, we’re talking about this when we look at the issues that are going on in Texas, I think that has told us that we needed a diverse energy plan.”

Schorr proposed a motion that we retain the current turbine height and decibel restrictions. The motion passes 3-1.

Schorr then proposed that any participating property “without a dwelling shall have no less than three acres of land outside of the noise and turbine height setbacks.” The motion was not supported.

Commissioner Sean Flowerday agreed, stating “My generation faces a litany of barriers, not experienced by recent previous generations. The most daunting of which is the threat posed by global climate chaos. We’ve run out of time. And if we don’t make meaningful change to replace fossil fuel generation with clean alternatives in the very near future we’re going to reap the devastating consequences of climate chaos.”

Flowerday also touched on the crisis in Texas, clarifying how the cold has impacted all energy sources, from wind turbines to nuclear plants. But wind was “the least significant factor in the blackouts,” as stated by the Senior Director of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.

Flowerday proposed a motion to change the regulated decibel level, the setback distance, and remove the three-acre rule. This motion was supported.

Commissioner Christa Yoakum has also voices support for putting wind turbines in the county.

Commissioner Roma Amundson was unable to be present at the meeting. Although she will be unable to cast a vote, Commissioner Rick Vest read a statement from her.

“… In my view, the chief discussion point is distilled down to that of land ownership is a privilege that is gained, either by inheritance or purchase and is retained by hard work and careful management land ownership also brings with it both responsibilities and opportunities landowners have the right to enjoy and utilize their land as opportunities are presented as long as this right does not impinge upon the right of other landowners to do precisely the same enjoyment and utilization of the land or relative terms defined according to personal perspective. The relativity of these definitions by different parties in Lancaster County creates the debate facing the Board of Commissioners at this moment, because I am not present to vote on the specifics of text amendment 20008, I will state in general terms, my viewpoint. Know that I appreciate the value rights and response responsibilities and opportunities of land ownership. I understand that wind energy presents an opportunity for landowners to choose to participate and to utilize their land for economic purposes, that are both legal and lawful and recognized as a part of the entire energy grid. I am therefore supportive of modifying the text amendment in order to provide opportunities for landowners and wind energy in Lancaster County…”

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