NEBRASKA LEGISLATURE

The official site of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Tom Brewer

Sen. Tom Brewer

District 43

The content of these pages is developed and maintained by, and is the sole responsibility of, the individual senator's office and may not reflect the views of the Nebraska Legislature. Questions and comments about the content should be directed to the senator's office at tbrewer@leg.ne.gov

09-03-2021 Weekly Update
September 8th, 2021

The first very nice, cool morning came to Lincoln this week. It reminded me that fall is just around the corner and colder weather is coming. I paused to remember the coldest winter in living memory last year, and Nebraskans’ power being shut off by people in other states. With this on my mind, I wondered why is the Nebraska Public Power District circulating a survey about “decarbonization” and green energy? It seems to me their priorities are out of whack again. They should be figuring out how to never again shut off power to Nebraskans when we have more than enough generation in Nebraska to serve our state’s electricity needs.

Back in 2009 when all three of Nebraska’s public power organizations joined the regional transmission authority called the “Southwest Power Pool” no one mentioned the fact we were entering a contractual agreement that gave some organization in another state the authority to shut off electricity to Nebraskans. Perhaps the choices made at that time would have been different had the public been informed of this fact. When my interim study hearing in the Natural Resources committee happens in the weeks ahead, I am hopeful that our public power organizations come prepared to address this concern. Contract revisions ensuring this can never happen again is the only correct answer.  

“Renewable energy” is a term that is actually defined in state law. I am hopeful the legislature can add “nuclear” power to that definition in the next session. Instead of our public power organizations pursuing destructive and unreliable power generators like industrial wind turbines, they should be developing some of the new and exciting nuclear energy options like Advanced Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). These reactors are a key part of the US Department of Energy’s goal to develop safe, clean, and affordable nuclear power. These advanced reactors can vary in size from tens of megawatts up to hundreds of megawatts. They offer many advantages, such as relatively small physical footprints, reduced capital investment, ability to be sited in locations not possible for larger nuclear plants, and they can be easily expanded. They are built in a factory and delivered to the job site ready to plug-and-play. SMRs also offer distinct safeguards, and security features not found in the nuclear plants of the 1970s. These reactor designs have been safely and reliably operated in ships and submarines of the US Navy since the 1950s. 

In other news, the special session for redistricting approaches soon. It is scheduled for September 13th through the 30th. I encourage citizens to follow the floor debate. This only happens once every ten years, after which we all have to live with the political district maps that are drawn during this process. I believe a liberal filibuster is likely. Conservatives control the redistricting committee by one vote, so there will no doubt be some spirited discussions that will be worth watching. The Committee will hold public hearings in each of the three congressional districts. The hearings will be held on September 14 in Grand Island, September 15 in Lincoln, and September 16 in Omaha.

Sen. Tom Brewer

District 43
Room 1423
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-2628
Email: tbrewer@leg.ne.gov
Search Senator Page:
Topics
Archives
Committee Assignments
    Agriculture
    General Affairs
    Government
    Military and Veterans Affairs
    State-Tribal Relations
    Redistricting
Search Current Bills
Search Laws
Live Video Streaming
View video streamView live streams of floor activity and public hearings

Streaming video provided by Nebraska Public Media

Find Your Senator