CRES will waste no time in getting to work alongside leaders
“CRES will waste no time in getting to work alongside federal and state leaders to pursue a free market agenda that reduces regulation, offers tangible solutions that maintain economic growth, and unleashes our clean energy and national security potential for future generations,” Ayotte said today in a statement.
This year, CRES endorsed 36 state and federal Republican candidates with 28 of them winning on Tuesday, including U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV). Amodei was among a long list of Nevada politicians who had concerns about Question 3, a controversial proposal that would have amended the state constitution to allow consumers to choose their own power provider by 2023.
Based on those results, seems some voters wanted to prevent seeing their electric bills possibly rise in the future.
“With Republicans expanding their seats in the U.S. Senate and holding a majority of governorships across America, we must continue to champion conservative leadership and collaboration in pursuit of clean energy policies that enjoy broad support among the American people,” said former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), now senior adviser at Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES).
Amodei publicly had said he was concerned about how Question 3 might impact rural electric cooperatives in Nevada. The Nevada Rural Electric Association, meanwhile, opposed Question 3 because the plan’s anti-monopoly language could strangle their businesses, the nonprofit said.
NV Energy, Nevada’s only investor-owned utility, also weighed in on the Nevada Question 3 vote.
NV Energy’s Kristen Saibini, senior corporate communications specialist, today told Daily Energy Insider, “We take the responsibility of serving Nevada’s electric needs personally and we remain focused on providing customers with reliable electric service and delivering on our promise to double renewable energy by 2023 while keeping rates low.”
It was widely known that Question 3 would negatively impact Nevada consumers, who now see some of the lowest average electricity rates in the nation, according to an April report by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
If the ballot initiative had passed, it could have cost the state upwards of $100 million in new startup costs and possibly increased residential electric rates for at least the next decade, according to the PUC report.
“Nevada ratepayers will remain liable for any financial losses incurred by NV Energy from these stranded costs, which could foreseeably exceed several billion dollars,” according to the PUC, which noted that combined regulatory and stranded asset costs would equal about $4 billion.
The subsequent cost to ratepayers — spread out over 10 years — would mean that residential customers in southern Nevada, for instance, would see monthly bills rise by almost $25 in an open and competitive market, according to the PUC report. Plan proponents had argued that voting ‘Yes’ for Question 3 would have resulted in more consumer choice, increased energy market competition and potentially lower customer costs of roughly $11 a month per consumer.
Additionally, however, an approved Question 3 potentially could have cost NV Energy 400 union jobs, the PUC report said, and NV Energy likely would have been forced to divest its generating assets and assign its long-term power purchase contracts to new owners.
In what turned out to be successful efforts to stymie the initiative, NV Energy worked with the Coalition to Defeat Question 3 to ensure all Nevadans had the facts about what the company considered a risky and costly constitutional amendment that had “the potential to dismantle an electricity system that already provides low costs, increased clean energy production, great customer service and industry-leading reliability,” Jennifer Schuricht, corporate communications manager for NV Energy, said earlier this spring.
Also included in the coalition are former Chairman and CEO of Harrah’s Entertainment Phil Satre, AARP Nevada State Director Maria Dent, Clark County Commission member Marilyn Kirkpatrick, state Sen. Pete Goicoechea (R-District 19), former Nevada Attorney General and Secretary of State Frankie Sue Del Papa, former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, Carson City Mayor Bob Crowell and Nevada State AFL-CIO Executive Secretary-Treasurer Rusty McAllister.
Question 6, the other energy-focused initiative on Nevada’s Tuesday ballot won approval by a nearly 60 percent margin. The measure was another proposed constitutional amendment that if passed again in 2020 would require state electric producers to buy or generate 50 percent of their power from renewable energy by 2030.
Arizona initiative bombs
Arizona voters resoundingly quashed Proposition 127 — a plan like Nevada’s Question 6 that would have required the state’s primary investor-owned utilities to generate half of their power from renewable sources by 2030.
The largest of the state’s three main investor-owned utilities, Arizona Public Service Electric Co. (APS), opposed Prop 127, along with what the company said was a large, diverse and bipartisan coalition of Arizona business and community leaders.
“We’ve said throughout this campaign there is a better way to create a clean-energy future for Arizona that is also affordable and reliable,” Don Brandt, president and chief executive officer of APS, said Wednesday in a statement.
“The campaign is over, but we want to continue the conversation with Arizonans about clean energy and identify specific opportunities for APS to build energy infrastructure that will position Arizona for the future,” said Brandt, who added that APS plans to gather ideas and seek input from customers and stakeholders representing myriad viewpoints.
Brandt also pointed out that the APS energy mix is already 50 percent clean. The company’s addition of battery storage technology on its existing solar facilities, together with other initiatives such as more infrastructure investment to support electric vehicles, will continue to ramp up the APS clean-energy vision, he said.
“We’ll keep working in partnership with customers and policy makers to sustainably support Arizona’s growth,” said Brandt.
The defeat of Proposition 127 now leaves in place the state’s existing renewable energy requirements of 15 percent by 2025.
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