Ricketts Slams Blackouts and Energy Mix, Says It Needs to Change
By Jack Williams , Managing Editor and Reporter Nebraska Public Media News
Feb. 17, 2021, 1:15 p.m. ·
Governor Pete Ricketts is slamming the rolling blackouts in Nebraska, saying there’s no reason why the state should be dealing with power interruptions during a historic cold snap. At a briefing Wednesday in Lincoln, Rickett’s said the power issues seen in the Midwest and Texas are unacceptable.
“This is the United State of America. We are not some developing nation who has an unreliable power grid,” Ricketts said. “We have to have a conversation in this country about the power sources that are supplying energy to our power grid because we cannot have these rolling blackouts at a time when we have these freezing temperatures.”
Ricketts said too much reliability on natural gas and wind energy and not enough on nuclear and coal-fired power plants has led to the power supply problems we’re seeing now.
“You can just imagine if radical environmentalists get their way and pass the clean power plant or the Green New Deal, that these situations will become more dire,” Ricketts said. “We have to have a conversation in this country about our energy mix to make sure we continue to have a reliable source of energy, like coal, like nuclear, to make sure this does not happen again.”
He said the Gerald Gentleman coal-fired plant in Sutherland in southwest Nebraska is generating more than 50% of the state’s power right now. He said he’ll begin a dialogue with other elected officials and electricity providers about how to make sure the state doesn’t have to deal with rolling blackouts during sub-zero weather again.