Sandhills senator pushes back against wind energy

Posted by: Abigail Wood

It’s been a long-time issue in Nebraska, whether energy from wind turbines is worth the cost. Senator Tom Brewer, who represents the Sandhills and surrounding counties, is introducing a bill to push back against the industry. He says the issue has torn the area apart.

"It’s a kind of homogeneous family," Brewer said. "Everybody knows everybody; generations have lived and worked together, and the one thing that has ripped the fabric of the Sandhills apart is the issue of wind energy."

He wants to pass a bill that stops wind turbine development. Brewer says he’s not against wind energy necessarily, but wants thorough research done before companies continue building turbines in the counties he represents.

"People are polarized very solid one way or the other, and I think if there are concerns about wind energy we need to answer it before we litter these windmills all over the Sandhills," Brewer said.

Some of the things he wants looked into? The impact large-scale wind energy would have on water tables, sound quality, and tourism.

"You’re coming into Ainsworth and you see the hills littered with these wind towers for a moment and you have to visualize what it would be like to see them all over the Sandhills, and it was just heart-wrenching to think because it really would change what we see as this national treasure of the Sandhills," he said.