Arizona, Nevada votes show there’s work ahead in battle for renewable energy
Earlier this week, it was a mixed bag for renewable energy initiatives on the ballots in two western states, as one measure was approved in Nevada while another failed in Arizona.
Question 6 in Nevada called for the state to raise its renewable portfolio standard to 50 percent by 2030. While the measure’s approval is a win for the solar industry and renewable energy as a whole, it is only the first of two votes that any constitutional amendment must pass in the state before it can be enacted. This measure will go back on the ballot in 2020, and if it passes then, the amendment would become law.
Interestingly, Question 3 on the Nevada ballot sought to deregulate electricity markets in the state, which would have opened up NV Energy’s monopoly to competition. This was the second time the amendment was on the ballot, and the measure failed with NV Energy outspending by $26 million those who backed passage of this measure ($63 million vs. $37 million), the Las Vegas Review Journal reports. The newspaper also reports that NV Energy did not contribute to the first round of the Question 3 campaign two years ago. That would seem to indicate that the energy company saved its resources for when the battle really mattered.
Meanwhile in Arizona, Proposition 127 failed by nearly a 70-30 margin. Passage of that measure would have required electric companies to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 — the same numbers that Nevada is trying to reach.
Similar to Nevada, millions of dollars were spent on both sides of the Arizona campaign, with The Arizona Republic noting that it was the “most expensive ballot measure in state history.”
With these power companies fighting against competition and renewable energy mandates, it seems clear that the battle for when renewable energy targets will be implemented will be a moving target.
The good news is, you don’t have to wait for renewable energy targets to be set to start doing your part to produce cleaner, greener energy. You can trim your dependence on the power companies that largely generate their electricity with fossil fuels that send massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere by going solar at your home. Own your power, don’t rent your power from the power company!
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