More than seven million dollars in tax breaks would be offered to lure a wind-energy company to Nebraska under a bill moving forward in the legislature.
Strong winds blow in Nebraska, but the state, according to Sen. Heath Mello of Omaha, has done little to take advantage of that.
“We have seen Nebraska fall further and further and further behind in regards to renewable energy generation,” Mello tells colleagues during floor debate on LB 104.
The bill would authorize $7.4 million in tax breaks as an incentive for Trade Wind Energy to build a wind farm in northeast Nebraska.
Nebraska ranks 3rd or 4th in wind energy potential, depending on the survey, generally ranking behind Texas, Kansas and, sometimes, Montana.
Some have criticized providing tax breaks for an out-of-state company, but Sen. Jim Scheer of Norfolk urges colleagues to focus on the jobs, not the company.
“This isn’t about investors. This is about Nebraskans. It’s about providing employment and income for rural Nebraska,” Scheer says.
The bill advances on a unanimous 30-0 vote.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]