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Niobrara pact shows responsible leadership

The parties to a landmark Niobrara River Basin agreement continue to move forward together, setting a fine example of how Nebraska organizations can resolve a difficult issue when their interests come into collision.

In years past, irrigators expressed concern over the utility's assertion of the water right. Federal regulators insisted that wildlife species should receive protection because of the Niobrara's designation as a national scenic river. The basin's recreation industry wanted its interests to be taken into account amid multiple demands on the river.

A situation once rife with disagreements among Nebraskans has been resolved through responsible negotiation and cooperation and confirmed in an agreement signed by Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and four natural resources districts. It ensures enough water will be set aside for agriculture, fish, wildlife and recreation.

It's a terrific example of leadership and vision for Nebraska.

- Omaha World-Herald


Norfolk shows promise for green energy

Norfolk is fixing to one-up Kearney on the solar energy front, and we wish Norfolkans the best of luck. Earlier this week, the northeast Nebraska city entered an agreement with Nebraska Public Power District on a venture to build a sizable solar array and link it to an energy storage system.

Norfolk's agreement with NPPD is to partner on a grant application that would connect a solar array to a battery energy storage system. Such systems are expensive, but the Norfolk experiment may demonstrate the potential of generating electricity with solar power and storing it until there's demand to use it.

Today, most solar and wind systems generate electricity when the sun is shining and the breeze is blowing. The power is great while it lasts, but people need electricity 'round the clock to power homes, factories and farms. The ability to store green energy until it's needed would be a major breakthrough.

That idea may seem far-fetched, but it will be experiments such as this partnership that help develop sustainable green energy.

- Kearney Hub


Janssen’s fate belongs to voters

A worker who arrived late at work, just had short stays at the office and then took long lunches involving drinking beer at a sports bar during work hours would quickly be shown the door and told to find another job. State Auditor Charlie Janssen admitted to doing just that.

The Nebraska Democratic Party is right to condemn what Janssen did. No one condones drinking on the job and being away from the work that taxpayers are paying you to do.

However, Democrats are wrong to ask for him to resign. With the general election just a month away, those who hired Janssen — Nebraska voters — will have the opportunity to remove him from office, if they choose to do that.

If the election were years away, the Democrats would have a point. But since the election is so close, it's best left to the voters to decide.

- Grand Island Independent

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