Assemblyman Chris Brooks (D-Las Vegas) was the key player on all things renewable energy during the 79th Session of the Nevada Legislature. What are his final thoughts on this year’s movement on renewable energy? He answered a few final questions in Las Vegas earlier this month.
1. Why did you focus so strongly on energy this session?
Brooks: “We were at a crossroads with where we could go on energy policy. We need to modernize our energy policies. […] I have a lot of skills and background that could be helpful to the state. We really need to diversify our energy policies.”
2. What was with the constant talk about energy choice?
Brooks: “I decided to run before Question 3 [the initiative to restructure Nevada’s energy market] had surfaced. Now that it’s something we’re considering, I feel it’s even more important we serve.”
3. Were you surprised by opponents of AB 206 [the renewable portfolio standard bill] trying to use energy choice as an argument against the bill?
Brooks: “I was a little surprised by some of the opposition to AB 206 being couched in energy choice. [Las Vegas Sands] specifically used the language of 80% renewable by 2040. I just found it very surprising that [Sands and the Nevada Resort Association] then turned around, and even said 40% by 2030 was too much.”
4. How are you preparing to bring RPS back to the Legislature in 2019?
“I look forward to having in-depth conversations with [stakeholders and other legislators] in the interim to see if we can work on an expanded RPS.” [Governor Brian Sandoval (R) vetoed AB 206 on June 16. Brooks has promised to bring the bill back next session.]
5. Why did it take so long for the Legislature to pass AB 405, the rooftop solar net metering bill?
Brooks: “Rooftop solar is so important to so many Nevadans. We wanted to make sure we did it right. It’s something that NV Energy has never liked, and has continued to try to slow the adoption of. Plain and simple, it conflicts with their business model.” [AB 405 ultimately passed the Legislature before sine die, and Governor Sandoval signed it into law on June 15.]