A Track Record of Success
In the 2016 election cycle, NLCV changed the political landscape for conservation in Nebraska, and set a clear mandate for clean energy and good governance that is focused on people, not special interests.
NLCV shifted the balance of power on the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) and Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Boards of Directors. NLCV elected five candidates to these two boards, including two Republicans, two Democrats and one Independent. These candidates are champions of conservation, clean energy, transparency, and job creation, demonstrating that even in a time of political division, we can find common ground in protecting our financial and natural resources.
Across these five races, NLCV:
- Knocked more than 20,000 doors
- Made more than 15,000 live calls
- Recruited more than 50 volunteers
- Sent more than 88,000 pieces of mail
Background: Nebraska’s two largest power providers are Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) and Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD). Nebraska’s failure to lead the way into the new clean energy economy is primarily due to obstructionism from these publicly-owned electric utilities.
In the 2016 election, NLCV recruited candidates to run against NPPD incumbents Ron Larsen (Kearney) and Larry Linstrom (North Platte), two board directors who had been major opponents of clean energy during their tenure. NLCV recruited Independent Melissa Freelend to run against Larsen, and Republican Bill Hoyt to run against Linstrom. NLCV also campaigned to protect one pro-clean-energy seat, held by Democrat Gary Thompson of Beatrice.
Two OPPD seats were up for election this year. NLCV’s supported candidates, Democrat Craig Moody and Republican Rick Yoder, both campaigned on a strong renewable energy platform.
NLCV’s candidates defeated Larsen and Lindstrom by 11% and 9%, respectively. Gary Thompson defeated his challenger by 9%, and Yoder had a 6 point victory while Moody had a 5 point victory.
We now have board directors who are concerned about environmental justice and climate change. With enough public engagement, we now have the opportunity to pass policies that will significantly benefit Nebraskans, including stronger incentives for energy efficiency, changing NPPD and OPPD’s lobbying approach to support renewable energy development, and transitioning toward clean energy.