By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service.
CARSON CITY — To honor Earth Day tomorrow, Gov. Steve Sisolak will join environmental advocates in a call to invest in our planet.
The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the world only has about 8 years to take decisive action to avert the worst effects of global warming. Nevada already is being ravaged by wildfire and drought.
Angelyn Tabalba, communications director with the Nevada Conservation League, said the state’s biggest source of drinking water is at a record low.
“2021 was the first time our federal government announced there was a water shortage at Lake Mead,” said Tabalba. “So we have all these things that are telling us that we do need to act on climate to protect our communities from this dangerous extreme weather.”
The bipartisan infrastructure bill will give Nevada $38 million over five years to build out electric-vehicle charging networks. And the state’s new clean-car standards go into effect in 2025.
But activists say in order to truly tackle climate change – and confront volatile prices for fossil fuels – the Senate needs to pass the Build Back Better Act, which would put $555 billion toward climate mitigation, clean energy, and environmental justice.
Tabalba said the average low-income family in Nevada spends about 6% to 8% of their income on energy costs – something Biden’s climate legislation would address.
“With federal investments in more energy efficiency and electric infrastructure,” said Tabalba, “the average family could save about $500 per year in utility bills.”
She said the climate legislation would reduce the cost of installing rooftop solar panels by an average of $7,000. Nevada is home to the country’s number one solar economy, employing almost 34,000 workers as of 2020.