Advocates for healthy communities and a vital clean energy economy applauded legislators in the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee for advancing three bills that will help Nevada harness its abundant renewable energy resources.

The committee overwhelmingly voted to advance Assembly Bill 206, a bill to increase the percentage of energy coming from renewable sources, critical legislation for the state’s economic development. The committee also passed Senate Bill 150, which would provide access to energy efficiency for consumers at all income levels throughout Nevada, and Senate Bill 65, which would update the state’s long-term energy resource plan to prioritize more renewable energy, energy storage and new technologies.

“Setting a bold renewable energy target for Nevada’s utilities will drive competitive solar development to serve customers in-state, improve energy security, and make Nevada a regional clean energy leader,” said Jessica Scott, Interior West director for Vote Solar. “We’re working with Assemblyman Chris Brooks and local stakeholders to pass AB 206 and make Nevada a clean energy leader.”

“For the last few years, Nevada’s reputation as a clean energy leader and voter support for expanding clean energy in the state has outmatched our clean energy policies,” said Andy Maggi, executive director of the Nevada Conservation League. “AB206 will ensure that we will be the leading state for the clean energy and tech industries. The bill will fuel billions of dollars in spending and investment while creating thousands of jobs. We applaud Assemblyman Brooks for his leadership on this legislation and all the members of the Assembly Commerce and Labor Committee who moved this bill forward today.”

Sondra Cosgrove, president, League of Women Voters of the Las Vegas Valley, thanked legislators for updating the planning process for electrical power for Nevada. Long-range plans are developed by electrical utilities and the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

“On May 25, 1961 President John F. Kennedy proposed an ambitious plan to go to the moon to a joint session of Congress. Eight years later the US landed a man on the moon,” said Cosgrove, who is a historian. “Considering the effort that went into achieving that monumental goal, it should be quite easy for a state that leads in days of sunshine per year to incorporate more renewable energy and energy efficiency into its long-range plans. Any state that can welcome Tesla, Switch, Apple, and the Oakland Raiders onto its economic grid in just ten years, should have no problem becoming the leader in twenty-first century clean energy policies and innovation.”

Jerry Holiday, president of the Uplift Foundation in Las Vegas, applauded the strengthening of energy efficiency programs included in SB 150. He noted that voters last fall overwhelmingly supported an initiative that would spur renewable energy development in Nevada.

“Based on a number of polls and the strong 72 percent of voters supporting Question 3 last fall, Nevada citizens overwhelmingly support Clean Energy in our state. Legislation increasing energy efficiency is a required step to move Nevada forward to be an energy leader, and to provide access to clean energy for all citizens no matter their circumstances,” Holiday said.