Five months after a new clean-energy majority took control of its board of directors, the staff of Omaha’s public utility is moving forward with developing a climate action plan.
At the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) board’s June meeting, president and chief executive officer Timothy J. Burke said his staff will explore how to move toward generating more of its power from carbon-free sources. It’s one of five management initiatives the staff presented.
Mary Fisher, the utility’s vice president for energy production and nuclear decommissioning, said it will take time to determine the extent to which OPPD can rely on carbon-free energy sources. But advocates see the policy initiative as a hopeful step.
“The fact that the OPPD is talking openly about climate change and environmental imperatives and carbon reduction in planning to put into place a plan to decarbonize their generation process, that’s a big deal,” said Ken Winston, outreach director for Interfaith Power & Light in Nebraska. “The fact that they’re beginning a planning process as opposed to announcing goals, that also is significant. That means people need to stay engaged in the process and have input.”