For months potential developers of renewable energy projects have been in limbo, unable to get answers from the state about the renewable energy tax abatements passed by the Legislature in late May, according to legislators and industry lobbyists.
The delay has led to growing frustration with Gov. Jim Gibbons and the state’s energy policy, which Republicans and Democrats alike have billed as key to the state’s economic future.
“We’ve lost a great deal of momentum,” said Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno, the senior GOP state lawmaker on renewable energy issues. “Some might be because of the economy, but when you have priorities, you make time. You don’t pay lip service to it.”
Assemblywoman Debbie Smith said, “We’re behind. We’ve had unfilled positions for a long time. We have a lot of work to do in this state, a very big hill to climb.”
During this year’s session, renewable energy and creation of a “green economy” were key issues. The Legislature passed more generous tax incentives for renewable energy projects and created the energy commissioner position, which will oversee the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Authority.
But renewable energy lobbyists said that since the session ended, there has been no sense of urgency from the governor’s office to get these projects under way.
“It’s a perception issue,” said one lobbyist with renewable energy clients, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he still has to work with the state. “We get incentives passed in the last session and show everyone we’re serious about creating a new renewable energy industry in Nevada. And basically, since the session, we’ve done nothing. I guess, how serious are we really?”
I'll totally agree with today's Sun editorial that renewable energy can't wait any longer. We need the jobs, we need the power, and we need to start reducing our carbon footprint ASAP. Maybe Gibbons doesn't care about any of this, but the people of Nevada do.
Hopefully someone in Carson City actually lit a fire under Gibbons' ass that will make him fulfill these promises. It's that between the climate crisis and the economic crisis, we'd think we'd have a Governor who actually cares about things like this. What a novel idea!