Titus to Push New Energy for Nevada

AEN News

Reno, NV - Yesterday, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus unveiled an eight-point plan to stabilize utility rates, improve air quality and create new economic opportunities in Nevada through development of the state's rich store of renewable energy resources. Dina Titus, in a news conference at the renewable energy-based Interpretive Gardens, also contrasted her long record of support for renewable energy against the records of Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson and Congressman Jim Gibbons in supporting status quo energy policies.

"Mayor Gibson is known as the half-million dollar man for the $527,000 he was paid by Nevada Power Company to help it fight a public takeover while utility rates were going through the roof in 2002," Dina Titus said. "He said last week he was committed to 'exploring' alternative energy sources. That's not good enough."

"We need concrete plans and a real commitment to making renewable energy the foundation for Nevada's energy future, even if that means bucking the power company Mayor Gibson worked for." "Jim Gibbons has maintained the status quo by supporting tax breaks for utilities to continue producing energy from coal, natural gas and even nuclear energy," Dina Titus said.

Gibbons backed 2001 legislation that included $33.5 billion in energy tax breaks for utilities, oil companies and large businesses. In 2003, he supported an energy bill that authorized another $10.5 billion in tax breaks for the oil and gas industries, with additional benefits for electric utilities, including $167 million in tax credits to power companies if they build more nuclear power plants.

"Nothing in the records of Mayor Gibson or Congressman Gibbons indicates they will stand firm with Nevada's utilities and demand compliance with a state requirement that they produce 20 percent of their energy from renewable energy sources by the year 2015," Dina Titus said.

Despite a requirement since 1997 that utilities produce more of their power from renewable energy sources, not one commercial-scale renewable energy plant has come on line as a result of that Renewable Portfolio Standard.

"For Nevadans who are paying ever-higher utility rates, whose air quality is compromised by traditional power plants, and who can benefit from jobs created by a new industry, we need to force Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power to get serious about renewable energy, and make it the first choice rather than the last choice in Nevada's energy future," Titus said.