The remarks from more than 80 Lincolnites who provided written comments on Mayor Chris Beutler’s environmental action plan reflect a wide range of attitudes on environmental issues.

Some people simply said they are against the entire plan, which is called Lincoln Environmental Action Plan, or LEAP.

“I am against LEAP. Energy conservation should be an individual option and not an enforced mandate regulated by government. The goal of this type of legislation is to exert control over the free choices of the governed,” said one commenter.

But the majority of comments were positive, and some people wanted the city to move beyond the plan, which was primarily about city government action rather than mandating any specific individual action.

Several people suggested the city should ban plastic shopping bags or charge for them. And one person wants the city to mandate LED lighting in all businesses by 2025.

Here are some excerpts from the comments: 

“People who advocate for conservation of limited resources and reduction of energy usage do not practice what they preach ... Want to cut energy use and lower emissions? Stop the Lincoln Marathon. Do you know how many thousands of people travel the country and world just to run for two hours?"

This commenter also offered suggestions, including “make people live in the city footprint we had in 1980. Remodel existing homes for better efficiency or tear down and build in the same footprint ... charge a surtax on any home bigger than 2,000 square feet."

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Another person said he was not a climate change denier, but he believes we should spend our time figuring out how we can adapt to climate change rather than stop it. His suggestions included developing drought-resistant crops, and making better use of green energy and nuclear power.

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"There needs to be a sustained community education process. Many of our citizens continue to have doubts about many of the baseline assumptions from which these plans emerge.”

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“The tree city advocates need to be held accountable for the results of their actions. These results include collapsed sewers, plugged and collapsed storm drains, ruptured gas and water lines, power and phone/data line damages, sidewalk and street damages. ... Often groups have planted trees illegally so they can claim that the city can’t widen the street because it will kill their trees.”

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“I think we need a big tree-planting program, not only to replace ash trees but also to replace the huge oaks and other species that people do not plant due to their slow growth."

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“I am very concerned about climate change and am very happy to see the goals set out in this plan. Many cities have set a goal to be carbon neutral, and I would love to see Lincoln set such a goal as well.”

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“I would like to see the city further encourage landfill reduction through a composting plan. Can organic waste become a priority for households and restaurants?”

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“We need to grow more food and less lawn ... I encourage the city to develop programs to educate citizens to reduce the amount of traditional bluegrass lawn and increase the use of native plants ... as lawns and their maintenance are a significant source of water use..."

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“I think Lincoln should join the cities pledging to abide by the Paris Accord.”

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"It is also a fact that the proponents of this dogma are more interested in the political effects of propagating the alarm, because it justifies a vast expansion of government control in all of our lives."

 

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Reporter

Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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