By Suzanne Potter, PNS
This story was originally published by Public News Service.
CARSON CITY, Nev. — Congress is hashing out the size of the Build Back Better reconciliation bill, which would put billions toward the fight against climate change.
Now, Gov. Steve Sisolak is calling on Congress to pass it, so Nevada can meet its climate goals. Sisolak said the bill will supercharge the expansion of solar, and it’s a good thing, since the state is spending $2 billion to improve access to the regional grid.
“We invested in the solar transmission lines to make it part of the grid where we can export a lot of the solar that is being captured,” Sisolak emphasized.
Opponents of the Biden administration’s proposal complain it costs too much. However, the bill would accelerate Nevada’s progress toward its goal of getting half of our electricity from renewable sources by 2030, and 100% by 2050.
The geothermal fields in Ely are key to that plan. Nevada’s lithium mines are crucial for battery storage going forward, as is the state’s $100 million project to build a network of electric vehicle charging stations.
Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of Energy, urged Congress to seize the moment and cut a deal.
“The biggest engine for job creation that we’ve seen in well over a decade,” Granholm outlined. “Our nation’s ability to compete and lead in the 21st century economy, the best opportunity we’ve ever had to prevent the worst of climate change, is on the line.”
Granholm noted the Build Back Better proposal contains $33.5 billion dollars for projects to improve communities’ resilience to disasters linked to climate change, which will benefit people in marginalized communities hit hardest by wildfires, heat waves and air pollution.