Nebraska advances scaled-back bill aimed at wind energy

Wind Energy Cropped Photo: Steve Wilson / CC BY 2.0 via MGN.
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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers have advanced a scaled-back bill that could make it harder to install wind-energy transmission lines on private property if landowners object.

A new version the measure that was previously defeated won first-round approval Wednesday on a 40-1 vote.

The original bill would have barred Nebraska's public power organizations from using eminent domain to install transmission lines for use by privately developed wind-energy farms. Opponents say it would have stifled wind energy development in Nebraska.

Senators agreed to revive the measure, however, and reached a compromise. The new version still allows eminent domain for renewable energy projects, but gives opponents a better opportunity to challenge such projects in court.

The bill was introduced by state Sen. Tom Brewer, of Gordon, whose district includes Nebraska's scenic Sandhills.