Nevada renewables measure poised to make ballot

Source: Nick Bowlin, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A proposed constitutional amendment to emphasize Nevada’s renewable energy sector has enough signatures to make the ballot in November, supporters say.

The measure would more than double the solar, wind and other renewable output by state electric utilities. The effort is led by Nevadans for a Clean Energy Future, a group funded by Democratic superdonor Tom Steyer.

The group submitted about 230,000 signatures — far more than needed to make the general election ballot. Clean energy issues are popular in Nevada, where the sector is booming.

Fifty percent of energy produced or bought in the state would have to be renewable by 2030. The current law aims for 25 percent by 2025.

State lawmakers passed a similar measure last year, but Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed it. He called it the right move but said the timing was wrong, thanks to a possible restructuring of the state’s electricity market.

State voters would have to approve the Steyer-backed initiative in November and then again in 2020 before it can become law.

Steyer has also committed at least $2 million to defeating Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Republican gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt.

LCV attacks Laxalt

Adding on to Steyer’s efforts, Nevada’s League of Conservation Voters group announced yesterday a $1.15 million effort to beat Laxalt this November. The money goes to one television ad and a digital campaign that will run in English and Spanish.

The ads stress Nevada’s air quality issues and take Laxalt to task for his ties to the oil and gas industry, as well as the Koch brothers network.

“With support from our members across the state, Nevada Conservation League PAC will be running a sweeping campaign to ensure voters understand how Adam Laxalt would take our state backwards, threatening our health,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League political action committee, in a statement.

Laxalt, the state attorney general, faces Democrat Steve Sisolak in the general election.

The Clark County commissioner has pledged to match Nevada to the Clean Power Plan and the Paris climate accord, both of which are under threat from the Trump administration.

The president endorsed Laxalt on Twitter before last week’s primary.