Gibbons does better than expected on conservation issues - but still C minus

For the first time this year, the Nevada Conservation League reviewed not only the performance of the Legislature but that of the governor.

Gov. Jim Gibbons, league officials said, did better than expected.

In Congress, Gibbons scored zero on league scorecards in his last two years.

"Based upon this fact, the conservation community did not have high hopes for a Gibbons administration," according to a league publication. "However, Gov. Gibbons has shown himself to be receptive to conservation issues in his first year on the job."

Even so, primarily because of his support for coal as fuel, they gave him only a C minus overall.

They cited his creation of the Nevada Climate Change Advisory Committee, which Gibbons has directed to decide how greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced in the state, as a positive act.

League officials pointed out Gibbons signed all the conservation bills which he received from the Legislature except one: The legislation to prevent homeowners' associations from restricting solar panels or energy efficient window shutters.

They praised his creation of a panel to help find solution to power transmission problems in Nevada.

But the league objected to Gibbons' continued support for the use of coal, saying he advocated coal to liquids technology in his state of the state speech and continues to support construction of coal-fired power plants in Nevada.

Coal, they said, is the nation's biggest contributor to carbon dioxide emissions.

The governor's record, they wrote, "has been a mixed bag."

"He seems to genuinely be interested in promoting and developing Nevada's vast renewable energy resources and wants to see Nevada become an exporter of clean power.

"However, he contradicts this stance when he supports the further use of coal."

The final answer, they wrote, will depend on how he handles important conservation issues facing the state in the rest of his time in office.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.


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