Sisolak signs bill raising clean energy standard

Published Mon, Apr 22, 2019 (3:23 p.m.)

Updated Mon, Apr 22, 2019 (4:45 p.m.)

CARSON CITY — Nevada's governor signed a bill Monday requiring electricity companies to get half of their energy from renewable sources by 2030.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak was joined by a crowd of Democrat and Republican state lawmakers.

"This milestone piece of legislation will also help reduce emissions that negatively impact the health and well-being of Nevadans," he said.

The clean energy standard under the legislation will be gradually ramped up to the 50 percent mark.

Lawmakers in the Assembly approved the measure on Friday and it passed the state Senate with a unanimous vote.

State Sen. Chris Brooks previously told lawmakers that he introduced the legislation "in the spirit" of a 2018 ballot measure to amend the state Constitution and require the same 2030 clean energy standard as outlined in the bill.

The ballot passed and would have to succeed at the polls again in 2020 to amend the Nevada constitution.

"Fighting for a more sustainable future has been the focus of my career here, and we have to give this effort everything we have," Brooks told lawmakers at the hearing.

He said the legislation will expand current clean energy standards regulated by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

Billionaire activist Tom Steyer, whose group NextGen America supported the ballot measure, said the bill is an important step toward addressing the planet's climate problems.

Clean energy "is the cheapest energy in the United States," he said. "It saves people from a lot of the health problems associated with dirty air."

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