Nevada State legislature in 2021 very busy looking at climate change

The state legislature in 2021 was very busy looking at climate change in improving Nevada’s reporting requirements and environmental state. Our state is on the forefront of preserving the environment. Our legislature passed several bills to require additional reporting regarding greenhouse gas emissions by Nevada companies. In addition, laws were passed to increase administrative fines for violations relating to public utilities and add fines for submitting inaccurate or misleading information to the public utilities commission. 

These new laws show that Nevada is serious in enforcing climate regulation to protect our environment. The legislature authorizes local governments to create commercial property financing programs to support energy efficient and renewable energy resiliency and water efficiency improvements. Our legislature was well aware of the need to preserve and protect our environment and also protect our natural resources. The following are the bills that were passed to further these causes.

Our legislature was on the forefront in many areas this year advancing public policy and protecting our citizens and our environment. Our legislature was focused on preserving our resources and enhancing the beauty of our communities. Our legislature was well aware of the needs of our community both financially and the impact of creating projects and funding for environmentally sound projects.  These bills range from funding new projects to reporting requirements regarding greenhouse gases to penalties for reporting false, misleading or inaccurate information to authorities.

Energy and Utilities

Assembly Bill 452: Under this bill, reporting requirements are improved and reporting on greenhouse gases is enhanced. Existing law required the State Department of Conservation and natural resources to prepare an annual report that includes a statewide inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. This law has been in effect for 20 years in the state of Nevada. Section 1 of this bill requires these agencies and entities to submit to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources any information that is determined by the agency to be necessary to prepare the annual report including information relating to emissions from substitutes for ozone depleting substances. Basically, this law enhances reporting requirements and requires information that was used to prepare a report to be submitted with the report.  The Bill Requires certain state agencies and entities to submit additional data on greenhouse gas emissions  then was previously required. For the entirety of the bill see the link below

Effective July 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 18: Nevada senate bill 18 relates to public utilities and increases the amount of administrative fines that the public utilities commission of the state of Nevada is authorized to assess for certain violations relating to public utilities. The new law further authorizes the commission to assess administrative fines on a person who provides in accurate or misleading information to the commission. This law revised certain provisions relating to determining how certain administrative fines are assessed by the commission. This law goes so far as to increase criminal penalties for certain violations relating to public utilities and providing other matters that relate there too The bill increased the fines to a maximum of $200,000 per day for each violation up to $2 million for any related violation. The fines imposed by this new statute are extreme and prove the commitment of our state legislatures to protecting the environment and penalizing those who violate Nevada law for firstly reporting or failing to comply with Nevada environmental policy.

Effective on July 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 283: Nevada senate bill 283 relates to local improvements and authorizes municipalities to create a district for certain qualified improvement projects. This new law sets forth the requirements for creating such a district and authorize a certain financing to pay for qualified projects. This law makes various changes relating to the laws regarding local improvement for environmental protections. You may live in an area where you see your city or county removing grass and changing out landscape. This Bill deals with these kind of projects and funding therefore to improve water use and Improve our energy resources. It allows for funding for landlords to improve their properties and rewards public works projects for improving environmental impacts

The bill authorizes local governments to create commercial property financing programs to support energy efficiency, renewable energy, resiliency, or water efficiency improvements.

Effective October 1, 2021.

Senate Bill 448: This is an extraordinarily long and multi-prong bill that aims to increase clean energy investments in our state  and promote storage and transmission. The Nevada legislature approved this sweeping clean energy bill that is directed at accelerating the construction of a massive transmission project. The bill also aims at increasing spending on electric vehicle infrastructure and requires that the state join the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) by 2030. This bill puts legislative backing behind the planned $2 billion “Greenlink Nevada“ transmission upgrade which would construct two new 525 kilovolt transmission lines that would essentially link the entire state. Nevada energy would be required to complete construction of the project by the start of 2029. This bill passed our legislature 32 to 10 after passing the Senate unanimously.

This Bill  was introduced by state senator Chris Brooks of Las Vegas and is advancing Nevada towards its goal of reaching 100% carbon free resources by 2050. This bill requires utilities to forecast a path to achieve 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from the 2005 levels by the end of the decade. The Greenlink Nevada project encompasses more than 600 miles of new transmission lines connecting the Western part of the state to the East and to Las Vegas. These new powerlines would effectively create a transmission triangle that will connect the population centers with geothermal and solar energy. This could give Nevada access to large amounts of renewable energy that are currently not able to reach the grid because of transmission constraints. Experts believe this is a significant path towards fully decarbonizing Nevada. The bill sets our state on a path toward joining a competitive wholesale energy market with other western states creating an 18-member task force to examine the steps Nevada would need to participate in the RTO.

The bill also requires Nevada Energy to file a plan by September 2021 to invest $100 million in electric vehicle infrastructure including charging stations along interstate highways, at outdoor recreation facilities and in urban areas where people may not be able to charge vehicles at home. At least 40% of that infrastructure would have to be located in underserved communities. Nevada energy supported the bill that will transform Nevada’s clean energy landscape and create thousands of jobs in our state.

Various effective dates.

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