LAS VEGAS — Today, Clark County consumers and leaders gave the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada (PUCN) feedback about how the policies governing Nevada’s electric and gas utilities impact people. The overwhelming consensus: there is an urgent need to fight the climate crisis and protect historically underserved Nevadans.
During an open public comment session hosted by the PUCN, a diverse group of utility customers and advocates for equity, environmental conservation, public health, and clean energy thanked the Commission for its actions to reduce climate pollution in the state. At the same time, they stressed that more bold decisions are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and address inequities faced by lower-income Nevadans and the state’s communities of color.
Participants made strong statements of support for investment in energy efficiency and weatherization programs, electric vehicle infrastructure, and the transition from fossil fuels like methane gas (also known as natural gas) to clean energy.
“With the arrival of affordable clean energy technology, there is no excuse to continue down the path of dirty fossil fuels with a legacy of environmental injustice,” said Rudy Zamora, Program Director for ChispaNV. “Nevada must embrace clean energy and energy-efficient technologies and focus on the equitable deployment of these climate solutions, especially in historically underserved communities who have suffered the most from pollution.”
“Nevadans deserve to be protected from utility over-reliance on methane gas, and instead have utilities invest in renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, and electrification of homes and buildings,” said Elspeth Cordua DiMarzio, Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club. “Planning for this transition now will ensure that we have all communities and stakeholders at the table creating a just and equitable transition. The Sierra Club appreciates the Commission’s attention on this important topic.”
“Transportation pollution worsens asthma attacks, COPD, and other respiratory and developmental health conditions,” said Bernadette Mae Longo, RN, PhD. “Transitioning to zero-emission transportation and investing in charging infrastructure will accelerate clean air and climate benefits that protect the health of our community.”
“I know first-hand that clean energy and climate solutions are better for Nevadans’ health and pocketbooks, and we need to get those benefits to where they do the most good for people,” said Dr. Mary House, CEO of CHR, Inc. (Caring, Helping, & Restoring Lives) in a letter to the PUCN. “Energy efficiency and weatherization projects must be a priority, especially for renters and low-income families, and Nevada’s electric utilities must invest directly into electric transportation and EV charging networks.”
“We’d like to thank the PUCN for your leadership and commitment to fighting the climate crisis as the top goal in your strategic plan,” said Andrew Sierra, Organizing Manager for Nevada Conservation League. “To meet the ambitious but necessary climate goals of 100 percent clean power and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 that were set by Governor Sisolak and the Legislature, we must move away from all fossil fuels as quickly as possible. In their place, we can invest in local renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses, create clean jobs right here at home, and keep utility bills low for working families across the state.”