Our every-other-year state legislature convened in Carson City in February and we are there, commenting, testifying and lobbying. Please help us out by contacting our legislators. It’s easy for anyone to comment on bills through the state NELIS website, and, we are told, legislators do take these comments into account. To comment to all legislators at once through this system, go to our Take Action page and follow the link. Also, please see our Facebook page for up-to-date info on these bills.

Bills we support include:

Our “signature” bill this session, SB231 Healthy Basins for Healthy Communities: Water permits issued during the mine dewatering process are currently considered “temporary in nature” and the water is not included in inventories of groundwater for each basin, even though in some cases mines can pump for decades, causing a significant impact on other users, such as farmers, ranchers and aquifers, resulting in significant but unrecorded over-allocation. The bill would require the State Water Engineer to include this water in a basin’s appropriation calculation and requires such data to be available online.

Thanks to the Senate Committee on Natural Resources for sponsoring this bill.

AB206 Renewable Energy Portfolio Standards: A renewable energy portfolio standard requires an electrical utility to generate or buy a certain percentage of electricity from renewable sources each year. AB 206 seeks to increase Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard to 80% by 2040. This would be a substantial increase from the current RPS of 25% by 2025. Why do we support it? The connection between more renewable energy sources and fewer effects on communities and the environment is easy to make. Fewer pipelines for natural gas, less coal, fewer transmission lines if distributed energy is used more, no fracking = less water wasted, all mean less destruction of public lands, habitat and communities and fewer effects on climate.

Thanks to Assemblyman Brooks for sponsoring this bill.

AB159 Prohibits Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) in Nevada: Based on prior analysis, GBRW does not believe Nevada is ready for fracking, regulation-wise. GBRW believes there remains considerable uncertainty on the potential affects of fracking in Nevada. No comprehensive analysis has been conducted in Nevada or is contemplated by state agencies to our knowledge.

 Because Nevada is so seismically active, untreatable wastewater would have to be shipped out of state, another reason fracking is untenable in Nevada, possibly forever. Thanks to Assemblypeople Watkins, Swank and Brooks for sponsoring this bill as well as Senator Ratti.

AJR10 Expresses the Legislature’s opposition to the development of the Yucca Mountain site as a repository for nuclear waste. Thanks to Assemblyman Brooks for sponsoring this bill.

 Bills we oppose are:

AB289 enacts provisions to provide partial abatements and expedited permits for the development of facilities for smelting, processing or refining ores or metal in this State. GBRW believes that tax abatements and other giveaways are unnecessary for the very profitable mining industry. Contact these cosponsors to express your views: Assemblymen Jim Wheeler, John Ellison, Al Kramer, John Hambrick; Senator Pat Spearman