Monday, Feb. 20, 2017 | 3:05 p.m.
“Hey hey, ho ho, fossil fuels have got to go,” chanted a crowd of about 50 clean energy proponents who gathered in front of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building on Monday.
Renew NV organized the rally to bring attention to bills in the Nevada Legislature, stressing the importance of clean, renewable energy for Nevada residents and businesses. A similar rally was held in Carson City.
Speakers young and old, from various walks of life spoke about what clean energy meant to them.
The Rev. Leonard Jackson of First African Methodist Episcopal Church, who also serves as executive director of the Faith Organizing Alliance, explained the universal impact of the clean energy effort.
“We each have different perspectives that show this issue cuts across many other issues but touches everyone,” Jackson said. “Clean energy will bring about economic opportunities, creating local jobs and reduce electric bills through strong energy efficiency.”
Sara Smith, a 17-year-old high school student and a member of the Alliance for Climate Education, discussed the importance of using renewable energy sources and to help future generations of Nevadans.
“As a young person in Nevada, I intend to live a long and healthy life,” Smith said. “I would prefer a Nevada that welcomes innovation, clean energy jobs and a vibrant economy that welcomes new businesses. These are the choices that we’re making today.”
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., attended the event, urging the crowd to not only have their voices heard in Nevada, but to spread the message to Washington, D.C., as well.
“Don’t forget about the federal level, that can be a nightmare when it comes to protecting our environment,” Titus said. “After you send your message to Carson City, send it to Washington, too.”
Titus appreciated the group's effort and hopes that these types of events continue to occur.
“It’s great to see people out here on a holiday, and they care about these issues,” she said. “They’re sending a message to Carson City as these hearings are going on. It’s important to keep people energized, educated and mobilized moving forward.”
Titus was assured that additional rallies would be held in the valley and in Carson City.
The organizers also urged attendees to make their voices heard via social media. They distributed cards with example posts to share on the various social platforms.
“Clean energy for all,” “Restore rooftop solar” and “Saving energy equals saving money” were a few of the ideas, adding hashtags #nvleg and #RenewNV.
Titus mentioned the efforts of Assemblyman Chris Brooks, D-Las Vegas, who introduced Assembly Bill 206, which would require energy providers to generate 50 percent of electricity from so-called "clean" sources in the next eight years. The bill would double the amount of renewable energy Nevada will mandate by 2025.
“It's time to make Nevada the nation's leader in the next generation of energy sources that will help diversify our economy and create good-paying, high-quality jobs — the kind of jobs that can't be exported overseas,” Brooks said in a statement. “My bill to create a Renewable Energy Portfolio sets an ambitious goal of requiring 80 percent of Nevada's power come from clean and renewable energy sources by the year 2040. By achieving this goal, we can guarantee prosperity for years to come and make sure Nevada’s future is bright.”