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Pressure Builds on Gov. Sandoval to Sign Renewable-Energy Bill

Advocates of AB 206 say Nevada's renewable energy goals should be expanded in order to spur job creation. (cece94/morguefile)
Advocates of AB 206 say Nevada's renewable energy goals should be expanded in order to spur job creation. (cece94/morguefile)
June 8, 2017

CARSON CITY, Nev. -- The fate of a bill to set higher renewable energy goals for Nevada rests with Gov. Brian Sandoval - and its backers are doing all they can to encourage him to sign it.

The group "Renew NV" delivered almost 8,000 signatures to the governor on Tuesday. Assembly Bill 206 would raise the amount of energy that utilities are required to produce from renewable sources from the current 25 percent by 2025, to 40 percent by 2030.

Renew NV spokesman Launce Rake said it just makes sense - or "dollars and cents" - to encourage the clean energy economy.

"Nevada established clean energy standards, one of the first states in the nation to do so, way back in 1997,” Rake said. "Since then, they've helped draw in more than $6 billion in investment and created this huge clean energy economy here in Nevada."

Rake said more than 20,000 people work directly in clean energy-related fields in the state.

Opponents of AB 206 include NV Energy, the Nevada Resort Association and several gaming companies, including Sands and Wynn.

The issue has gotten even more attention in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord. Rake said Nevadans are determined to move forward with their own clean energy goals, despite that setback.

"The biggest of the biggest corporations in the world - Amazon, Google, Tesla - are relocating to Nevada so they can take advantage of the clean energy that we produce,” he said. "So, they're moving here, hiring people, and that's a good thing - and then, we are literally selling clean energy to our neighboring state."

According to the Department of Energy, there are 2.6 million clean energy jobs nationwide. It said solar jobs are growing 17 times faster than the overall U.S. economy, and wind turbine service technician is the fastest-growing occupation in the country.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV