NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited southern Nevada on Thursday as Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed two new energy-related bills into law.
Granholm, Sisolak and Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford held a roundtable discussion in North Las Vegas with energy and state leaders.
On Thursday, Sisolak signed Senate Bill 448 into law. The law directs NV Energy to build two new transmission lines dubbed Green Link to better connect northern and southern Nevada. The new lines would allow Nevada to become a hub of the western energy grid, Sisolak said, and better position the state to add more renewable energy production sources.
Senate Bill 430 commits $1 billion to energy construction projects, Sisolak said. Both bills passed with bipartisan support.
Nevada has a goal to reach 50% clean energy by 2030.
Granholm applauded Sisolak and the Nevada Legislature for the new laws, but her focus was the Biden Administration’s American Jobs Plan.
The infrastructure proposal, with an estimated price tag of $2 trillion, would be paid with tax increases on the wealthiest Americans and corporations while adding millions of new jobs, White House officials said.
The plan includes a $100 billion investment in clean energy, including add 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country.
The White House plans to raise the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% and hike taxes on overseas earnings to help pay for infrastructure. The rate was 35% but was lowered with the passage of President Donald Trump’s tax plan in 2017. Negotiations between Democrats in Republicans on the proposals have stalled in Washington.
8 News Now asked Granholm what jobs the White House envisions in terms of the plan.
“On transmission, you’re going to need electricians to be able to put that up,” she said. “You’re going to need construction workers. You’re going to need if you end up burying the wires, you’re going to need people who are able to move big equipment. You’re going to need people who plan it. You’re going to need solar installers. You’re going to need people who maintain it.”
Also at the roundtable was NV Energy CEO Doug Cannon who said using renewable energy in the utility’s system is lowering customers’ bills.
A Morning Consult poll taken after the announcement of the plan earlier this year found nearly two-thirds of Americans support taxing the super-wealthy and corporations to pay for the infrastructure plan.
Republicans have argued increasing the corporate tax rate would hurt the economy, even though the plan has bipartisan support.
In response to Granholm’s visit, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee said in a statement: “Under Joe Biden, Nevada has the third highest gas prices in the country. The American Bankruptcy Plan and attacks on our country’s energy independence will exacerbate the problem further. The only thing Nevadans want to hear from Secretary Granholm is an explanation as to why this administration is failing the Silver State.”