News

 11.04.16/
Op-Ed

U.S. Senator Harry Reid Urges Nevadans To Vote Yes On Question 3

Nevada voters can choose a clean energy revolution

Why I’m urging Nevadans to vote yes on November’s energy choice ballot initiative.

The Ener­gy Choice Ini­tia­tive pro­hibits elec­tric­i­ty monop­o­lies. The con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment would open Nevada’s elec­tric­i­ty mar­kets, ensur­ing “every per­son, busi­ness, asso­ci­a­tion… or any oth­er enti­ty in Neva­da has the right to choose the provider of its elec­tric util­i­ty ser­vice.” It was writ­ten, in part, to address a util­i­ty pro­pos­al to imple­ment fixed charges for solar cus­tomers.


Neva­da will kick off a clean ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion and deter­mine a mod­el for the entire nation to pur­sue with one sim­ple bal­lot ques­tion.

In just a few days, Nevadans are poised to gut ener­gy monop­o­lies’ rigid pow­er grabs and direct­ly par­tic­i­pate in the clean ener­gy econ­o­my. Vot­ing “yes” on ener­gy choice will rep­re­sent a seis­mic shift for Amer­i­ca and the world — a momen­tous exam­ple of how the peo­ple can take down an out­dat­ed, spe­cial inter­est monop­oly and choose the future they want for their state and their coun­try.

All eyes will be on Neva­da this year as we lead the charge into a new chap­ter of the clean ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion. Novem­ber 8 will be a his­toric, con­se­quen­tial day for the Sil­ver State and the coun­try.

While some oth­er states began allow­ing com­pe­ti­tion in the 1990s, this will be the first bal­lot ini­tia­tive that direct­ly responds to this new move­ment to democ­ra­tize clean ener­gy. When Nevadans over­whelm­ing­ly vote “yes” for a clean ener­gy future, states across the coun­try will be able to quick­ly fol­low our exam­ple. Even right now, Neva­da is a nation­al leader in expand­ing clean ener­gy.

The peo­ple of Neva­da, along with all Amer­i­cans, are begin­ning to rec­og­nize that they are being held cap­tive — it is time to end ener­gy monop­o­lies once and for all.”

But ten years ago, we were at a crit­i­cal turn­ing point of our ener­gy future. The Sil­ver State faced a deci­sion whether to build new coal plants that would have hin­dered the devel­op­ment of renew­able ener­gy resources in a big way. I pub­licly opposed the build­ing of those two coal plants and nei­ther of them were built. A decade lat­er, we now have yet anoth­er oppor­tu­ni­ty to reject spe­cial inter­ests of the past and choose a clean ener­gy econ­o­my for the future. This ref­er­en­dum will prove to be democ­ra­cy in action — a tes­ta­ment to the will of the peo­ple.

I have had my fair share of bat­tles with Nevada’s stodgy ener­gy util­i­ty. Some of the most mem­o­rable have been oppos­ing the build­ing of filthy coal plants, demand­ing they close the Reid-Gard­ner plant that was pump­ing pol­lu­tion into the air we breathe and call­ing for the rever­sal of the short-sight­ed deci­sion to elim­i­nate net meter­ing. But this bal­lot ini­tia­tive is the biggest fight yet. We will not stand by as Nevada’s ener­gy util­i­ty con­tin­ues to be shield­ed from com­pe­ti­tion at the expense of Amer­i­can con­sumers.

Nevadans are vexed by the pow­er grab of our cur­rent elec­tric util­i­ty monop­oly, ques­tion­ing why the gov­ern­ment has effec­tive­ly end­ed their choice to install solar on their homes. The dis­con­tent with this encroach­ing monop­oly is evi­dent by polls con­sis­tent­ly show­ing that near­ly 70 per­cent of Nevadans over­whelm­ing­ly sup­port a state con­sti­tu­tion­al amend­ment open­ing the elec­tric­i­ty mar­ket to com­pe­ti­tion.

The peo­ple of Neva­da, along with all Amer­i­cans, are begin­ning to rec­og­nize that they are being held cap­tive — it is time to end ener­gy monop­o­lies once and for all.

To con­tin­ue advanc­ing our nation’s clean ener­gy rev­o­lu­tion, we must repel the neg­a­tive forces seek­ing to under­mine Amer­i­cans’ free­dom to choose clean ener­gy. These ene­mies of progress are shelling out hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars pro­mot­ing their per­son­al empires at the expense of Amer­i­can con­sumers and busi­ness­es. We need to resist the par­ti­san, big mon­ey inter­ests from inter­fer­ing with our future and ener­gy inde­pen­dence.

This Novem­ber, Nevadans have the abil­i­ty to empow­er and inspire all states to col­lec­tive­ly choose clean ener­gy and car­ry for­ward this nation’s enor­mous poten­tial into an era of unprece­dent­ed pros­per­i­ty and growth.


Sen­ate Minor­i­ty Leader Har­ry Reid of Neva­da has made a career of fight­ing for clean ener­gy. He has sup­port­ed invest­ments in renew­able ener­gy, trans­mis­sion lines, and ener­gy effi­cien­cy that cre­ate jobs and reduce ener­gy costs for Neva­da fam­i­lies.

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