Growing Stronger

We know that a majority of Nebraskans favorably regard wind energy. We know that Nebraska has incredible wind resources, ranked fourth nationwide. We know that wind development in Nebraska can unleash $1.7 Billion of economic potential annually. All the pieces are in place for a revolutionary wind industry to grow.

We know all of this, and yet there’s little wind development in Nebraska. There are plenty of reasons why wind hasn’t taken off here. Electricity is already cheap, uncertain tax-subsidies make turbine-manufacturers hesitant. Transmission bottlenecks limit development. And some people are frightened of the unfamiliar.

It would be great to just snap our fingers and have wind turbines sprout like dandelions. The investment would benefit communities, bring new jobs, and provide a cleaner future for our children. It can be frustrating when this bright tomorrow is clouded by today’s slow progress.

But we can choose to see the glass as half-empty, or half-full. Because even if progress is slow by some measures, it is happening. Midwestern states like Iowa and Kansas have embraced wind energy, and both have benefited. Wind will eventually take root in Nebraska.

When you bury a seed, you must be patient. Nothing seems to come out of the ground. But below the surface, the seed is active: first germinating, then rooting before eventually sprouting. It would be a shame to write off the seed just because you don’t see a stalk right away.

Progress takes time. But given enough time, and investment, eventually a plant breaks through the soil. The green stalk starts small, but eventually strengthens into hardy bark. The tree grows, and eventually spreads its own seeds, making it easier for others to grow.

For nearly forty years, the Center for Rural Affairs has worked for rural Americans. We started small and have faced our share of adversity. But our commitment to rural America--and the support of rural individuals and communities across the country--has helped us grow. We have personally seen the changes that can occur when ordinary citizens band together for the good of their communities. And although it can be easy to lose patience with the slow-rate of progress, we understand that’s how Nature works.

So we keep sowing, keep working, and keep fighting, because we are committed for the long-term. And we’ve seen firsthand what happens when Nebraskans work together for change.

Its only a matter of time before the wind industry takes Nebraska by storm. And the Center for Rural Affairs will be here, on the side of rural Americans. Working for a better tomorrow.

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You can reach Paul Mansoor via telephone (402-687-2103 x 1028), or email (paulm@cfra.org), and you can follow him on Twitter @paul_at_cfra