On Aug. 13, county commissioners authorized a resolution stating their support for the No on ballot measure 3.
The resolution as submitted to the board notes, “all of Lincoln County receives electric service from locally governed, community-based, not-for-profit utilities. Approximately 80 percent of the electric power consumed in Lincoln County is clean energy produced by hydroelectric generators at Hoover Dam. These existing community-based utility organizations and this supply of clean hydropower will be impacted by this ballot question should it pass in the 2018 general election.
The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada has independently studied the impact of this ballot question on all of Nevada and has concluded that it is reasonably likely to increase the average monthly electric bills on Nevadans at least in the short term, i.e., for the first 10 years, and the increased average monthly electric bills in Lincoln County may be greater than in urban areas of the state, given impacts to existing local utility models and hydroelectric power supplies.
Therefore, be it resolved that the Lincoln County Commission herewith expresses its grave concern regarding this proposed constitutional amendment and encourages all voters to fully understand the meaning and impact of a vote for or against this measure beyond that which is presented in campaign advertising.”
Lincoln County Power District No. 1 General Manager Dave Luttrell, and current president of the Rural Nevada Electric Association, have been spending considerable time making presentations around southern Nevada and other parts of the state, seeking to inform voters of the importance of measure 3 so they can make an informed decision.
In a recent article, Clay Fitch of the Elko Daily Free Press, also emphasized the need for voters to become well educated on the ballot measure.
He said, “Imagine buying a car but you don’t know the price. You don’t know who will build the car, who’s selling it, or how it will get to your home. You don’t know the interest rate or where to make payments.”
Newspaper editorial columnist Thomas Mitchell recently posed the question underlying the Energy Choice Initiative by asking, “Can Nevada lawmakers correctly introduce energy choice?”
He said recent reports from the nonprofit, bipartisan Guinn Center indicate, “the success or failure of Question 3 depends on how lawmakers write the rules.”
A statewide coalition seeking a No vote on 3, claims that, if passed, the measure will lock a risky experiment into the Nevada constitution; is purposely worded vaguely so as to put politicians and judges in charge of setting up Nevada’s new electricity system; will force the state to turn the oversight of its electrical system to California politicians and the federal government; cost billions of dollars to implement; be paid for by public monies gained in higher electricity rates and higher taxes; and will threaten Nevada’s clean energy future.
Luttrell said he wants all of rural Nevada to know the facts to be able to make an informed decision before the election, but has also said, “There is nothing good in it for rural Nevada.”