Nebraska 'really going to regret' not making utility cost data public, critics say as bill nears passage

LINCOLN — A bill poised to pass easily this session in the Nebraska Legislature protects business secrets that public power officials say they need to compete in the regional energy market.

Critics of the measure say it will take the “public” out of Nebraska’s unique system of publicly owned electrical utilities. They predict that watchdogs will find it harder to track the information that helps explain why the nation’s only public power state no longer ranks in the top 10 of lowest electrical rates.

“I think we’re really going to regret what we’re doing here,” said State Sen. Dan Watermeier of Syracuse.