Groups express opposition to Nevada’s energy choice question | NevadaAppeal.com

Groups express opposition to Nevada’s energy choice question

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Four groups supporting clean and renewable energy have come out against passage of Nevada Question 3, the energy choice initiative.

They are the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project and Western Resource Advocates.

The ballot question before voters would require NV Energy to sell all of its power generating plants and deregulate the electricity market.

Opponents say there's no evidence this new structure would lower rates for residential customers and it would effectively void NV Energy's commitment to double renewable energy generation by 2023.

“Question 3 has been sold to voters as a way to get more renewable energy online in Nevada but it will actually make it more difficult.”

— Dylan Sullivan,Natural Resources Defense Council

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"Question 3 has been sold to voters as a way to get more renewable energy online in Nevada but it will actually make it more difficult," according to Dylan Sullivan of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Anne Macquarie of the Sierra Club Toiyabe Chapter said the ballot question would "upend the clean energy progress we're making here in Nevada."

She said the uncertainty of a deregulated market threatens that momentum.

"It's bad for jobs, it's bad for public health and it's bad for clean air and water," she said.

Howard Geller of SWEEP said NV Energy has spent $500 million over the past decade helping customers save energy and reduce peak demand. He said the utility has proposed increasing those efficiency programs but Question 3 would raise questions about the future of those programs.

And Robert Johnston of Western Resource Advocates said passage of the initiative would kill important renewable projects and create a "cloud of legal and regulatory uncertainty that could chill the development of new renewable projects" while lawmakers sort out the restructuring of Nevada electric markets.