Nevada is looking to join the growing list of states cracking down with green energy initiatives. Nevada’s November 6 ballot has two proposed green energy measures; Question 3 (the Energy Choice Initiative) and Question 6 (the Renewable Energy Promotion Initiative).
Both proposed measures are amendments to the state constitution. This means they must be approved by the voting public twice before they are officially ratified.
Question 3 – The Energy Choice Initiative
According to the Nevada Current, this measure creates “an open, competitive retail electric energy market” and ensures that “economic and regulatory burdens be minimized in order to promote competition and choices in the electric energy market.” The deadline for the initiative to take effect is 2023. This measure first appeared on the 2016 ballot and received overwhelming approval from voters. To be ratified, it must pass again in November. However Question 3 is quite a hot topic in Nevada, causing significantly more of an uproar than it did the first time around. Although, to be fair, as the Nevada Current pointed out, most voters were far more focused to the presidential election and all the controversy it brought with it.
Question 6 – The Renewable Energy Promotion Initiative
This proposed measure will increase the state’s renewable energy targets by 50% by 2030. According to the Nevada Current, the current energy targets are set at 25% renewable energy by 2025. This is the first time Question 6 has appeared on a ballot. If the amendment passes, it appears on a ballot again in 2020 before official ratification. Potential opponents of the measure have been staying surprisingly silent.
Proponents of the Measure
According to the Nevada Conservation League, despite being one of the sunniest states in the country, Nevada only gets 20% of their electricity from clean energy sources such as solar and wind. 80% of the state’s energy comes from out-of-state fossil fuel resources like coal. Nevada spends at least $700 million a year on these resources.
The Nevada Conservation League argues that Question 6 gets more energy from in-state clean energy resources. Therefore, bringing more jobs to the local economy and cleaning up the poor air quality in many areas. Also, cleaner air means healthier residents. The state already benefits from more than 31,000 jobs in the clean energy market. The league believes that the state could expand that job market even further.
This is not the first attempt to increase Nevada’s renewable standards. According to the Nevada Current, state legislators succeeded in passing a bill to increase the renewable standard to 40% by 2030. However, Governor Brian Sandoval vetoed it on the grounds that it is “premature in the face of evolving energy policy in Nevada.” His veto the first time around was directly related to the Question 3 measure. We can only hope that putting forward Question 3 and Question 6 on the ballot at the same time does not sink the second attempt this early in the game.