A grassroots coalition of nonprofit organizations, businesses, and concerned Nevadans is launching a new campaign, RenewNV, to create clean energy jobs in Nevada and make the state a national renewable energy leader. The initiative also released polling today showing that Nevadans see the huge economic potential of renewable energy in the state, and support efforts to end the state’s reliance on dirty fossil fuels and transition to homegrown renewable energy sources.
Nevada has more renewable energy resources than just about any other state, and is already leading the way in the development of renewable energy while reducing air pollution, protecting community health, conserving water, and giving consumers more energy choices. To continue that leadership – and the economic growth that goes along with it – Nevada needs a comprehensive, bipartisan energy strategy that prioritizes clean energy, energy efficiency solutions, and cutting-edge technology to position us to sell energy to other states. RenewNV will build bridges between nonprofit groups, large and small businesses, every level of government, and citizens to realize that incredible potential.
RenewNV supports large, “utility-scale” renewable projects; rooftop and community solar, as well as other forms of distributed energy; and energy efficiency for businesses and residents at all income levels. RenewNV works to address the threat of climate change and pollution from fossil fuels while focusing on the positive economic potential of renewable energy in Nevada.
In partnership with Nevada Conservation League Education Fund, RenewNV is releasing the results of a survey of more than 600 likely voters taken this summer. The survey found Nevadans, by a margin of 74 percent in support versus 19 percent opposed, have a strong desire to grow the state’s clean energy industry. They see tremendous economic and environmental benefits in taking advantage of the state’s vast clean energy resources and are more likely to support policymakers who share their view. See poll results attached.
“Nevadans know that renewable energy is the key to economic growth and reducing the fossil-fuel pollution that is marring Nevada’s pristine outdoors, and they want policy makers to act immediately to make the state a leader,” said Andy Maggi, Nevada Conservation League Education Fund director in a press release. “Our economy, our health, and our natural legacy are at stake.”
Rudy Zamora, state director of Chispa Nevada, an organization rallying Latino communities for clean energy policies, said the poll showed strong support for his group’s efforts. “Transitioning to renewable energy is critical for communities of color, particularly Latino, African-American and Native American communities, that are are more likely to suffer negative health effects from dirty fossil fuel pollution,” he said. “And investing in homegrown energy means jobs and economic growth that benefit every resident of this state.”
Kevin E. Hooks, president an CEO of the Las Vegas Urban League, said the administration’s initiative is particularly welcome in Las Vegas neighborhoods with low- and middle-income housing.
“Investments in energy efficiency and clean solar power are very beneficial for our community. They bring good jobs and help make our neighborhoods cleaner and safer,” he said. “Unfortunately families who would most benefit from saving money on utility bills often find it hardest to successfully access energy efficiency and solar power programs. The administration’s initiative is an important step towards bridging that gap.”
Damon Hodge, with the Uplift Foundation of Las Vegas, noted that African-American communities stand to gain economically from the transition to clean energy.
“From the creation of new jobs to more energy efficient housing, we support Nevada’s efforts to move in the direction of a clean energy economy.”
Jennifer Taylor, executive director of the Clean Energy Project, another RenewNV partner, noted that clean energy is an issue that draws support from people of all backgrounds, including Nevada businesses.
“Through our efforts, Nevada business leaders recognize clean energy not only provides reliable, homegrown electricity but also attracts billions of dollars in investment, creating good high-paying Nevada jobs that stay in Nevada,” Taylor said, noting that Nevada spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year importing fossil fuels from out of state. “Although Nevada has become a national clean energy leader, our state has a lot of work to do to maintain momentum in addressing our state’s energy needs and the energy needs of surrounding states. Working together, with our unlimited renewable resources and a robust clean energy workforce, Nevada will remain among the nation’s clean energy leaders.”
Small businesses in particular stand to benefit and flourish in a strong clean energy economy.
“Small business owners support clean energy measures because they believe they can spur innovation and help create jobs,” said John Arensmeyer, founder & CEO of Small Business Majority in a press release. “In fact, Small Business Majority’s scientific opinion polling found 87 percent of small business owners across the country believe improving clean energy innovation and energy efficiency are good ways to increase prosperity for small businesses through job creation and potential cost savings. Moving Nevada towards a clean energy economy is a smart move that will benefit the state’s small businesses and the economy overall.”
Annette Magnus, executive director of the Institute for a Progressive Nevada, agreed, saying “Nevada is proof that we can reduce our impact on the environment and eliminate the pollution that causes climate change at the same time that we build a stronger, more resilient economy for our state. In fact, these goals go hand in hand,” she said. “Nevada can be a national leader in clean energy, but it will take leadership at all levels to make that happen. The promise of clean, affordable, renewable energy is too important to ignore.”
The League of Women Voters of Nevada is among the coalition’s partners.
“The League of Women Voters of Nevada supports a nonpartisan, data-based approach to public policy development,” said Sondra Cosgrove, first vice-president of the League of Women Voters of Nevada in a press release. “And we support growing Nevada’s economic capacity in ways that promote good jobs and environmentally healthy solutions, as well as in ways that benefit the greater good. We look forward to working in this collaborative effort to move Nevada into a renewable energy future.”
Jessica Scott, regional director for Vote Solar, a non-profit working to bring solar into the mainstream, said voters not only support clean solar energy, but they oppose efforts to roll back Nevada’s once-thriving solar industry. A decision by the Nevada Public Utility Commission in December to more than triple charges for families who invest in rooftop solar virtually dismantled the industry in Nevada.
“It was a real setback to the state’s effort to transition from dirty fossil fuels to 21st century energy sources,” Scott said. “Voters want to reverse that bait and switch, and return to the kind of growth and energy independence that solar offered Nevadans a few short months ago.”
RenewNV also applauded Governor Brian Sandoval’s decision to reconvene of the New Energy Industry Task Force, which is looking at policy strategies to address the move Nevada’s renewable energy industry forward, as well as ways to support distributed generation such as rooftop solar and net metering.
NCLEF’s survey also found that an overwhelming majority of voters say investing in clean energy will bring jobs and lower energy costs in the future. By almost a four to one margin, voters strongly support RenewNV’s goals to promote a strong clean energy economy by setting a goal to replace dirty, antiquated fossil fuels with clean, job-creating renewable energy like wind and solar.
Support for clean renewable energy was strong from all demographic groups, including union families and communities of color, especially Latino families, nonpartisan voters and Republicans. Further, Nevadans are unmoved by an advertising campaign critical of the clean energy industry, especially the rooftop solar industry.
And a majority of voters said they would view their legislators more favorably if they, too, support Renew NV’s goals.
Look forward in the coming months to informational and transformational events from RenewNV. Read more about us at RenewNV.com.