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Clean Energy Advocates Host People's Energy Forum Tonight in Reno

Clean-energy advocates are hosting a forum on moving toward renewables Thursday evening in Reno.(MT AERO)
Clean-energy advocates are hosting a forum on moving toward renewables Thursday evening in Reno.(MT AERO)
July 21, 2016

RENO, Nev. — Clean energy advocates will hold a "People's Energy Forum" Thursday night in Reno, featuring a panel discussion on ways the state can promote renewable energy. The forum is sponsored by the Sierra Club and the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. They hope to influence Governor Brian Sandoval's New Energy Industry Task Force, which is gearing up to make recommendations he can take to the 2017 legislative session.

Anne Macquarie, executive committee member at the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, said they've discussed some positive steps so far, but she thinks the board is a bit industry-heavy.

"It seems to us that so far their recommendations will be modest,” Macquarie said. "They're very far short of the ambitious policies that we - the Sierra Club and PLAN - think that we need to move the state to a carbon-free economy."

The Sierra Club nationally has set a goal of having a carbon-free electric sector by 2050. They have advocated retiring the Valmy coal plant early, reviving the rooftop solar industry, expanding community solar, updating the renewable portfolio standard, and establishing a "green bank" to finance more energy-efficiency projects.

Macquarie said she would also like to see a fee on fossil fuels imported into the state, to be used to fund renewable projects.

"If we develop our own in-state sources of clean energy,” she said, "not only do we stop sending that money out of state to purchase fossil fuels, but we're developing an in-state industry which will, of course, provide good jobs."

The meeting in Reno starts at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Northern Nevada HOPES building. A similar meeting took place on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV