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Backers Lament Court Decision to Block Solar Ballot Initiative

The Bring Back Solar initiative will not appear on Nevada's November ballot. (AERO)
The Bring Back Solar initiative will not appear on Nevada's November ballot. (AERO)
August 5, 2016

CARSON CITY, Nev. - Nevada clean-energy advocates say they are very disappointed in Thursday's decision by the state Supreme Court to block the "Bring Back Solar" initiative from appearing on the November ballot. The justices took issue with the language used to describe the proposal, saying it is inaccurate, misleading and argumentative to use the term "green power" or to assert that the current rate structure is "unaffordable and cost-prohibitive."

Chandler Sherman, deputy campaign manager for the Bring Back Solar Alliance said, "The Supreme Court disagreed with the way that our description of effect was phrased. But because the description of effect was on the documents that all 115,000 Nevada voters signed, they've invalidated those signatures, which means we can no longer be on the November ballot."

The initiative, which would have been Question Five on the Nevada ballot, would have reversed a decision made last December by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission to change the rate structure for rooftop solar, effectively killing the industry in the state. Immediately following that decision, several major rooftop-solar companies pulled out of Nevada, laying off hundreds of workers.

The Governor's New Energy Task Force has set several meetings over the next two months to discuss a variety of proposals and make a recommendation to the Governor. Sherman said solar-power advocates will look to the 2017 Legislature to resolve this issue.

"It's clear that this is what the people want," she added. "The people want to restore net metering and bring solar back to the state. And we're looking forward to working with legislators and stakeholders to make this a reality next session."

She said lawmakers are submitting draft bills over the next few months. So far, no legislator has signed on to carry a net metering bill. Question Three, which asks voters to end NV Energy's electric-power monopoly in the state, remains on the ballot.

The full text of the decision can be read here.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV