Brewer Vows Payback for Derailing His Eminent Domain Bill

Feb. 28, 2019, 6:23 p.m. ·

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A Nebraska state senator whose priority bill was derailed is threatening payback.

Sen. Tom Brewer of Gordon wants to prohibit using eminent domain for transmission lines to connect to privately-owned wind farms. His bill fell two votes short of advancing Wednesday.

Thursday, Brewer promised payback to senators who opposed him. “What we’re going to do is, we’re going to get a chance to talk about your bills – one by one, in detail. We’ve got a term in the military… ‘Be careful about burning the bridges that you have to cross. Trust me. You’re going to get a chance to see what that’s all about,” he said.

Brewer said senators opposed his bill not on the merits, but at the direction of lobbyists for what he called “Big Wind.”

Omaha Sen. John McCollister, a leading opponent of Brewer’s bill, urged his colleagues to look past their differences. McCollister compared the conflict to those between former President Ronald Reagan and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, who would tear each other apart before meeting later for drinks.

“We need to put individual bills behind us; move forward for the good of the state. And I’m prepared to do that, and I encourage the rest of it to do it as well,” he said.

The exchange occurred as a bill by McCollister dealing with petroleum product liens was pending. Senators ran out of time for debate before getting to a vote on McCollister’s bill, leaving any resolution for another day.