Scorecard shows how lawmakers voted on clean energy

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As renewable energy continues to emerge as a major election issue, clean energy advocates are releasing a lawmaker scorecard.

The scorecard will show every legislator voted on renewable energy bills during the 2017 session.

The Democratic-led state legislature passed 11 bills last session related to clean energy.  Governor Brian Sandoval, a Republican, signed nine of them.

It shows a shift in philosophy on the subject of generating electricity.

Lawmakers approved bills that will incentivize the use of clean electricity, promote energy conservation, and encourage the development of battery storage and other ways to capture energy from renewable resources like solar so it can be used after dark.

The bills passed with bipartisan support.  Some bills to restore the state’s rooftop solar program and prioritize renewable energy passed unanimously or nearly unanimously, which is one of the surprises on the scorecard.

8 News NOW spoke with members of the Renew Nevada Coalition, and they say this is a good foundation for consensus moving forward.

“I think everybody recognized this is good for Nevada’s economy,” said Vinny Spotleson, program director, Renew Nevada Conservation League.  “We have all the sunshine we need, we have great geothermal resources in northern Nevada, and we even have some good wind resources that we’d like to develop more.” 

“This can make a difference in our community, and when I say make a difference, as far as lifting our community up, providing jobs, lowering the health risk within our communities, this is what makes a difference,” said Rev. Leonard B. Jackson, the director of Faith Organizing Alliance.

Another takeaway: There seems to be a split between northern and southern Nevada Republicans.

Most of the Republican opposition came from northern Nevada Republicans like Ira Hansen and John Ellison.

Southern Nevada Republican James Oscarson voted in favor of 10 of the 11 bills.

Lawmakers hope to take the momentum to voters this year, but they need to collect more than 100,000 signatures to get a measure on the ballot that would raise Nevada’s renewable energy portfolio to 50 percent by 2030.

A similar bill was one of the ones that passed in 2017, but it was also one of the ones Governor Sandoval vetoed.

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