By June 13, 2017 Read More →

Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, casino industry to fight Nevada clean energy bill

clean energy

Sheldon Adelson is opposing a bill before the Nevada governor calling for increased use of clean energy in the state. NRG Energy photo.

Bill calls for 40 per cent of NV electricity to come from clean energy sources by 2030

US billionaire and casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson joined forces with some representatives of the casino industry to oppose a Nevada plan to boost the state’s use of clean energy.

The battle between the billionaire Trump supporter and environmentalists symbolizes one of the first tests of states’ resolve to fight climate change after the United States bailed from the Paris Climate Accord.

Despite Trump’s disdain for the Paris pact, earlier this month nine states, including California and New York along with leaders of 125 cities pledged their support to policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. They also promised to meet standards set by the Paris accord.

“States are trying to demonstrate their commitment to a carbon reduction strategy or growth in renewable power,” Timothy Fox, an analyst for researcher ClearView Energy Partners LLC told Bloomberg.

He added Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval “may be considering how his decision might be viewed within the context of the Trump administration pulling out of Paris.”

According to Bloomberg, the Nevada bill will require the state to produce 40 per cent of its electricity needs from clean energy sources by 2030, up from the current target of 25 per cent by 2025.

The Nevada Resort Association calls the mandate premature because the state was beginning to deregulate its electricity market after a November vote called for the breakup of NV Energy’s monopoly.  The group is also concerned about the bill’s impact on energy prices

The Republican Governor Sandoval echoed those concerns in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg from a spokeswoman.

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Environmentalists are concerned that the governor will back away from the bill.

“The governor has in front of him the most impactful clean energy and climate decision he will have the chance to make,” Dylan Sullivan, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental advocacy group told Bloomberg.

According to Sullivan, the bill would add about 1.7 gigawatts of solar power to the state by 2030, nearly double the current amount.

Supporters of the measure, including casino owner MGM Resorts International, EBay and data centre provider Switch Lt. say opponents’ concerns are unwarranted as prices for wind and solar energy are falling rapidly.

The bill’s sponsor, Nevada Assemblyman Chris Brooks said “We have one of the best solar environments in the world and the cost of wind is at an all-time low.”

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