Reaction To Clean Power Policy: NV is Ahead Of Much Of The Nation

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RENO, NV - President Obama's announcement of new EPA carbon pollution standards for power plants brought criticism from some quarters, little here in Nevada.

The kinds of issues that will generate opposition to this policy are in short supply in Nevada. We don't mine coal here and don't use a lot of it to generate our power.

The plant at Tracy east of Reno has, from the beginning, burned natural gas, as has another NV Energy Plant at Fort Churchill. The company is phasing out the last unit of a coal-fired plant in southern Nevada.

The power company declined to say what impact the policy might have on another coal-fired plant it owns with Idaho Power at Valmy between Winnemucca and Battle Mountain, but issued a statement noting they had supported the policy as proposed a year ago and expected no significant impact on consumers.

One reason for that confidence: in recent years, we've turned increasingly to the energy sources we have in abundance.

"We have wind. We have solar. We have geothermal," said Reno City Councilman David Bobzien. "These are all sources that are going to become more in demand after this rule is put into effect. And I think this is just a further business opportunity for us to export to other states green electrons."

Bobzien was speaking at a press conference at the city parking garage scheduled in anticipation of the president's announcement. It was called by city officials to brag a bit about the city's progress on the issue and note that the new policy fits in well with recent economic diversification efforts.

"Unlike a lot of other states which have domestic fossil fuel sources, we have renewable energy," said Bobzien.

"It fits our brand in this post-Tesla world," said Bobzien. "We are the place where businesses come to create solutions to address climate change and we are very proud of those businesses and look forward to having more of them come here and relocate here.

"That's a business opportunity for us. We can capitalize on that. We can continue to grow this industry sector."

The councilman's take was echoed by the Governor's lead man on energy, Paul Thomsen, who said the state was 'well positioned' to comply with the policy.

The state has set a goal of meeting 25 percent of its energy needs through renewables by 2025.