Lawmakers seek better wind contract deals

Nebraska lawmakers have given second round approval to a bill that spells out more protections for land owners when they deal with wind power developers. The bill was sponsored after a summer study by Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton.

Senator Cap Dierks of Ewing, who sponsored community based wind power legislation last year, says he is not completely happy with some of the terms of this year’s bill. “I have a little problem with the length of time that they allow these wind leases, these land leases, to take place,” Dierks says. “They want to change it in the legislation to ten years and I thought five years was enough. I’m looking for protection for the landowner.”

The shorter term would allow the landowner to renew in a few years if nothing is happening without being locked in for a full decade. Dierks says there continues to be problems with leases between wind developers and land owners. He notes the state attorney general warned Nebraska landowners two years ago to beware of the language in the contracts as it could be “slanted” against the landowners’ best interests.

Thanks to Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton