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Nevadans Debate Economic Impact of Reid’s Push for Energy Bill

June 7, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the oil spill disaster in the Gulf needs to be addressed, and he set July 4 as the deadline for committee chairs to come up with recommendations for a comprehensive energy package.

Pew Environment Group Nevada representative Dan Geary says both the health of the planet and the Nevada economy will benefit from Reid renewing his push for action.

"It's good news for our economy because it improves our energy security and our energy independence. It's good for Nevada because we can become a net exporter of energy rather than what we are currently, which is a net importer of energy."

U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle has criticized Reid's decision, contending the energy legislation will act like a tax that will "raise the utility bills of every American." Reid counters that the nation remains grossly over-dependent on foreign oil because energy companies have chosen not to invest their massive profits in clean energy that would make the nation more secure.

Geary believes it is critical the energy plan take a carrot-and-stick approach.

"We need strong incentives for the development of clean energy. There's no better place to build those projects than our state of Nevada. The plan also needs to have strong disincentives, as well - and caps on the emission of very, very harmful greenhouse gasses."

It's unclear at this stage whether the energy legislation will include such a cap.

As regards the unfolding disaster in the Gulf, Reid is proposing to eliminate the limit on oil company liability, which is currently set at $75 million.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV