Editorial: Governor right to veto bill mandating more clean energy

In vetoing this past week a bill that would have increased the required percentage of electricity in Nevada coming from renewable sources — such as solar, wind and geothermal — from the current 25 percent by 2025 to 40 percent by 2030, Gov. Brian Sandoval did the right thing but apparently for the wrong reason.

The governor felt obliged in his veto message to pay lip service to the concept of increasing the renewable portfolio standard (RPS), noting the proposal is very popular and has received positive news coverage in print and on television and online social media.

But he said that “although the increase in the RPS proposed at this time in AB206 is one that I would otherwise support, the consequences of approving this bill must be considered through the lens of recent changes to Nevada energy policy and those likely to be adopted in the near future. These changes can only be characterized as massive shifts in energy policy that have already dramatically altered the energy landscape in Nevada. They are occurring in real time, with energy policy evolving in real time.”

Sandoval said the reason he vetoed Assembly Bill 206 was that in 2016 72 percent of Nevada voters approved a change to the state Constitution that would end the electricity near monopoly in which 90 percent of power in the state is sold by one company, NV Energy. If voters again approve the Energy Choice Initiative in 2018, the energy market would be open to competition. That would also impact the other 10 percent.

If the initiative passes, the power companies would have to sell assets and that would result in costs that would have to be borne by the ratepayers, “resulting in higher power bills for most Nevadans,” the governor observed.

Assemblyman Chris Brooks, the Las Vegas Democrat who sponsored AB206 and has worked for years in the solar power business, told the press, “AB206 would have made Nevada not just a national leader, but a world leader, in the next generation of clean and renewable energy sources that would have diversified our economy and created good-paying, high-quality jobs.”

Actually an analysis of the current RPS — 25 percent by 2025 — by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University a couple of years ago found the costs far outweigh any supposed benefit.

The study estimated that in 2025 the current RPS would lower Nevada employment by anywhere from 600 to 3,000 jobs, reduce disposable income by a range of $72 million and $373 million and increase the average household electricity bill by $70 per year and commercial businesses by an expected $400 per year and industrial businesses by an expected $26,220 per year.

You don’t have to predict. Look no further than neighboring California, which has an RPS of 50 percent by 2030. It already has power bills 50 percent higher than the national average.

And for what? According to a Heritage Foundation report, if the entire industrialized world stopped burning fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions to zero, global warming would be reduced by four-tenths of a degree Celsius by 2100.

So, yes, the Energy Choice Initiative and its potential drastic shake up of the energy market added a degree of risk to ratepayers, but ratepayers already would have been on the hook had AB206 become law, despite what the governor and the mostly Democratic lawmakers who passed the bill claim.

In fact, we call for the 2019 Legislature to repeal the RPS entirely and let electricity consumers purchase power in a competitive marketplace.

A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel,  Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.


25 comments on “Editorial: Governor right to veto bill mandating more clean energy

  1. deleted says:

    Thomas I noticed that you prefaced your remarks about the sponsor of the Bill by saying that he has been involved in the solar power business for years but when you cite the Beacon Hill Institute, you don’t mention their affiliations.

    In the interests of fairness, and maybe to educate some who don’t know, here’s where they are coming from:

    “A series of 16 supposedly “academic” studies opposing the Obama administration plans to limit carbon pollution were written by the Beacon Hill Institute (BHI) and funded by a grant passed through a corporate-linked front group run by Richard Berman, according to reports published today in The Guardian.

    The reports have been released in partnership with industry-funded state think tanks with ties to the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel special interest groups, and pitched to advance the agenda of model legislation from the fossil fuel-funded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).”


    And of course most people already know (don’t they?) that the Heritage Fund, another citation in your article, received it’s initial funding by notorious anti government right wing Joe Coors, and continues to be funded by the Koch Brothers and their nefarious web of contributors.


  2. Rincon says:

    Sounds like Dark Money is beginning to make a difference. It’s now in paperback. I’ll be glad to buy one for anybody who sends me a shipping address (now that it’s cheeper, of course!). Who knows, you might learn something.

  3. Rincon says:

    Setting goals and targets is mostly just posturing anyway and Thomas has a good point. There are far more efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gases than by shuttering power plants that still have a lot of life left in them. That being said, building new coal fired plants appears to be a poor gamble at this time.

  4. Rincon says:

    And just to remind us of why we might want to reduce greenhouse gases, the streak is still unbroken. All 17 of the 17 warmest years on record have been since 1998. Still think global warming has stopped, Thomas? https://climate.nasa.gov/

  5. deleted says:


    Remember; they don’t care. By the time they’re willing to acknowledge what the world knows, their response will be….so what?

    And I came across this in my reading, and this seems to be a good spot for it as it explains in part, what the “conservatives” are doing to ensure that voters in this country, as so indoctrinated before they get to be voters, by the very industry set out to destroy the world for them, that they wouldn’t admit man is causing ALL of the change in the climate if their hair was on fire.

    Imagine if instead of the oil industry preying on the underfunded public schools that they intentionally cause to be underfunded, by providing propaganda, the atheists of America were providing it, what the outcry from the far right would be?



  6. Steve says:

    Good article, Patrick.

    What are you doing, reading and sharing stuff from a least biased source?
    You always spread propaganda. Why the sudden change?
    Maybe you didn’t read to the end…..

    “Despite the hard sell, some students are unsure of their prospects in the petroleum industry. The ongoing oil-price slump has made jobs in the industry scarce and advancements in automation are expected to accelerate the trend.

    Even in a state built on fossil fuels, other career options have grown more appealing. Having interviewed administrators at the academies, the Houston Chronicle reported last year that “students were gravitating more toward climate-friendly subjects like algae-based biofuel and super-efficient tiny houses.”

  7. Steve says:

    Rincon, I am reiterating.
    Total manufacturing and use shows supposed “green” vehicles pollute more than traditional vehicles.
    Now, from California, comes a manufacturing process that beats all of them, in this and overall costs while being safer, better and faster from concept to mass production.



  8. Steve says:

    Jay Leno (well known as not conservative) has a good 26 minute video on the divergent3d process and what it’s future intentions are.

  9. Steve says:

    And this doesn’t take into account the manufacturing process Divergent is actively resolving with disruptive technology.
    the conclusion made in the article is missing data points. But the facts presented (along with new tech) make it clear, electric vehicles are not really any better than standard vehicles and in many ways they are worse.


  10. Rincon says:

    You are only believing what you want to hear. The Sci Am article clearly states that hybrids get better mileage than straight gasoline powered vehicles. This, you don’t believe, but you’re quite willing to believe it when they say that gasoline powered cars are sometimes cleaner from a CO2 standpoint than electric vehicles, mostly in the sparsely populated northern Midwest region. It does make perfect sense though, that an electric car running on electricity made from coal might produce just as much CO2 as a gas powered version. That’s one reason why environmentalists want cleaner electricity. The one clear advantage for an all electric vehicle is that it reduces our dependence on foreign oil.

  11. Steve says:

    “The Sci Am article clearly states that hybrids get better mileage than straight gasoline powered vehicles.” Is correct.
    And I do believe that on mileage alone, electric easily beats all forms of direct fossil powered transport.


    What you continue to ignore is manufacturing, both of the vehicles and the fuels used.

    The link to Divergent3d’s graphic makes clear where the problems for electric vehicles lie and it also shows manufacturing processes are where the biggest improvements in overall pollution per vehicle per mile is to be had.

    To reiterate, you (and SCientific American) are both ignoring the elephant in the room.

    Manufacturing produces the most pollution and when taken into consideration, manufacturing of electric vehicles is the most polluting of all.


  12. Rincon says:

    So far, all I’ve seen is Conservative media blathering about it and a lack of explanation. For example, just what is it about battery production that makes it more energy intensive than say, casting an engine block? To believe these people would be akin to believing Greenpeace about an environmental issue.

  13. Steve says:

    I GAVE you new info and Jay Leno is a liberal!
    But you will never see anything from anyone as long as it doesn’t support your prejudiced view.

  14. Rincon says:

    I’m not sure where Jay Leno entered the picture, but I googled “Jay Leno on electric cars”, and all I found was a 1 1/2 minute spot on CNN, although there’s plenty on his Baker electrics in his collection. Didn’t cause much of a stir apparently, since there’s nothing else in the first 3 pages. The audio malfunctioned, so I was unable to glean its contents. Nevertheless, I question why you consider a comedian, albeit a car buff, to be your best source of this earthshaking knowledge you claim to have. You couldn’t find a credible scientist or engineer?

    AS for your assertion regarding Leno’s political views, “Appearing as a guest on Tuesday’s The Last Word on MSNBC to preview his interview with President Obama, NBC’s Tonight Show host Jay Leno described his political views as “conservative fiscally” and “probably liberal socially” after host Lawrence O’Donnell asked him if he tries to hide his political views from the audience.” .http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/brad-wilmouth/2013/08/07/leno-im-conservative-fiscally-and-im-probably-liberal-socially

    Where do you find this drek?

  15. Steve says:

    DUDE I posted a DIRECT link to the video!

    You REALLY are showing how HARD you refuse to see ANYTHING that doesn’t fit in your little prejudiced box!

    Then you hunt for cheery picked publicity statements on top of it all!

    In THIS VERY THREAD I posted all the info you REFUSE to see!

  16. Steve says:

    As for Leno, it was some TV interview years ago but I take it back because I can’t find it anywhere.
    I do have this.


    Now, you just go right on ahead and IGNORE it like you did all the OTHER links I posted for you.

  17. Steve says:

    Hey! Rincon! More DRECK for you to IGNORE!


    “Solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy than do nuclear power plants.

    If solar and nuclear produce the same amount of electricity over the next 25 years that nuclear produced in 2016, and the wastes are stacked on football fields, the nuclear waste would reach the height of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (52 meters), while the solar waste would reach the height of two Mt. Everests (16 km).

    In countries like China, India, and Ghana, communities living near e-waste dumps often burn the waste in order to salvage the valuable copper wires for resale. Since this process requires burning off the plastic, the resulting smoke contains toxic fumes that are carcinogenic and teratogenic (birth defect-causing) when inhaled.”
    ans that fuel for the Electric car you so love is even more dirty than Divergent3d shows!

  18. Rincon says:

    So much crap, so little time. Let’s see, where do I start?

    You gave me a link. Great. When was that? 2015 maybe? I don’t keep archives.

    “In THIS VERY THREAD I posted all the info you REFUSE to see!” But you won’t prove your point by actually quoting yourself. Tsk,tsk. How lazy.

    Now, you can’t even find evidence that Leno even said what you think and you still haven’t answered why you think a car buff comedian has vast technical knowledge about the production of vehicles and their CO2 footprint. You have also totally ignored the question of how it takes more energy to produce a battery than a cast engine block. Show me some facts, not just unsupported opinions.

    Oh, just so you don’t think I’m IGNORING it, your LA Times article says it in the title. It calls him MR. Middle-of-the-road. So now you think he’s a CLOSET liberal! Big deal. He’s still a car buff comedian.

    I’m running short on time, but I must point out that you’re doing what you often accuse others of – changing the subject. Since you can’t prove anything about energy intensiveness, you’re swtiching to toxic waste. Nevertheless, since it’s a straw man, I might as well shoot it down. I suspect Environmental progress.org is a nuclear industry front group, judging from their Web site. Even if not, they fail to define toxic waste or their methodology. Toxicity is all about dose. Comparing toxics by volume is sheer stupidity. Ocean water would be defined as waste if it is dumped over a freshwater aquifer in massive quantities, but it hardly would compare to plutonium. Lithium salts are often harvested by trickling water or brine through ore deposits. Much of the brine remains in the ground. Is this by any chance part of their Mount Everest of toxic waste? Lies, damn lies and omissions. You’re so anxious to prove the mainstream wrong on just about everything that you cling onto fringe opinions and alternative facts. How about a nice reference from The Royal Society or the National Academy of Science? Maybe some nice university?

  19. Steve says:

    “You gave me a link. Great. When was that? 2015 maybe? I don’t keep archives.”
    You insist on not seeing what you don’t want to see. But that doesn’t stop it from being reality.

    “you’re doing what you often accuse others of – changing the subject. ”
    “Editorial: Governor right to veto bill mandating more clean energy ”

    I am ADDING to the reasons Governor Sandoval is right to have vetoed that bill!


  20. Rincon says:

    If you cannot specify which thread where, then I’m done with you. The fact is that you have been unable to support your contentions with any reliable information. And stop shouting.

  21. Steve says:


    Right the F here!


  22. Rincon says:

    Thank you for again providing the links to which you referred. I’m afraid that we’re just going ’round and ’round here. Your first link is to a graph with no context of any kind including the lack of information as to who created it. Might have been a sixth grader for all I know, so I can’t consider that evidence of anything at all.

    I have to admit that I didn’t view the entire 26 minutes of your second link. Life is busier than that allows, and I wasn’t convinced that a car buff comedian would be able to contribute a great deal. I also noted that it was about the divergent 3d process and not a detailed analysis of the energy used in vehicle manufacture and decided that it was rather peripheral to our discussion. Please let me know if I missed anything crucial.

  23. Steve says:

    That first one ALSO has the link to divergent3d which you failed to note. That is the source for the graph.

    You certainly did miss it. They discuss it during the description of the manufacturing process and why this is such a huge beneficial change.
    Moreover, the tech Leno shows on his website is very real and he has several very environmentally friendly items and products made in the USA by small start ups and others which could be some real game changers down the line.
    Leno is way more than a “car buff” his garage is a total restoration facility staffed with top notch professionals who really know their business. And they have been freed up by Leno’s money, to do what they do to the very best of their ability.
    “car buff”, how little you care about what you claim you want to fix.

    Divergents’ website may detail it better, but you didn’t follow that link.
    So, for the THIRD time;

  24. Rincon says:

    The video turned out to be a complete waste of time. It’s strictly a promo by a company that makes cars with 3d printing. They stress that it makes a lighter, more responsive car with better handling characteristics and can enable customized designs at a reasonable price and, oh yeah, it’s more environmentally friendly too, while assiduously avoiding quantification of ANY of these wonderful characteristics (presumably, the graph was related to the video, so there actually was some quantification, albeit primitive and incomplete). How do they accomplish these wonders? They didn’t say, but the viewer is left to presume that a lighter car requires fewer materials and therefore, is more environmentally friendly. Great, but this company is hardly a neutral source for information about the shortcomings of their competitors. They also said nothing about why electric cars supposedly generate more environmental negatives than gasoline. None of your sources have.

    As for Jay Leno, I’m sure that he’s very knowledgeable about cars, as are most car buffs, but I see no evidence that he knows more about the efficiencies of car production than say, an average mechanic.

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