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Environmental Advocates Push for Action in Nevada

NextGen Climate and the Clean Energy Project have teamed up to inform Nevada voters about ways the state can increase its use of renewable energy.(adamkaz/iStockphoto)
NextGen Climate and the Clean Energy Project have teamed up to inform Nevada voters about ways the state can increase its use of renewable energy.(adamkaz/iStockphoto)
August 11, 2016

LAS VEGAS — Two conservation groups hosted a "climate chat" Wednesday night at a Las Vegas coffee shop as part of a larger effort to galvanize the public on clean-energy issues ahead of the November election.

The groups hosting the event - NextGen Climate and the Clean Energy Project - said they don't support particular candidates. They endorse an agenda that would promote renewable energy and policies they believe will save consumers money and create more sustainable jobs in the Silver State.

"We are working, educating the community - mainly millennials in different campuses - and we need their voice,” said Adriana Arevalo, communications director with NextGen. “The power that they have right now has to translate in[to] votes in November."

In December, the Public Utilities Commission dealt a major blow to rooftop solar, and recently the State Supreme Court knocked the "Bring Back Solar" initiative off the ballot.

But utility company NV Energy asked the PUC to reconsider and to grandfather in existing rooftop-solar owners to the prior rates. The Governor has also commissioned a New Energy Task Force with working on legislation to resolve the issue and get more clean energy into the mix.

Jennifer Taylor, executive director at the Clean Energy Project, said Nevada could attract more jobs if it prioritized climate-friendly policies.

"We need to have policies that support direct access of large users to renewable-energy options,” Taylor said. “If we do not mirror the core values of the companies that we want to attract, those companies will go to states that do provide them those options."

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, less than 20 percent of Nevada's power comes from wind, solar, geothermal or hydroelectric sources; 63 percent comes from natural gas, and much of the rest from coal. And 90 percent of that energy is imported, supporting jobs in other states.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - NV