Unilever, eBay join Nevada businesses backing renewables - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Industrial, Regulation, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 1, 2017

Corporate heavyweights back Nevada clean energy bill

Five of Nevada's largest employers — Dignity Health, eBay, Levi Strauss & Co., Switch and Unilever — have thrown their weight behind legislation that would increase the state's renewable energy standard. 

The legislation, Assembly Bill 206, calls for Nevada to increase the percentage of renewable energy in its portfolio to 50% by 2030, up from the current level of 20%. The bill passed with a bipartisan vote in the Assembly on May 24 and headed to the state's Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy committee with support from clean energy advocates, environmental groups, businesses and an endorsement from MGM Resorts International. 

On May 30, the group of five companies sent a letter to the Legislature and state Gov. Brian Sandoval supporting the bill, citing the business case for clean energy and the growing number of Fortune 500 companies that have set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase their use of renewable energy. 

"States with robust clean energy standards often offer more opportunities for businesses to gain access to renewable energy and can attract more corporate investments," the companies wrote in the letter, organized by sustainability advocacy group Ceres. "Clean energy not only makes economic sense, but it is also the expectation of our customers, employees and investors."

The five companies signing the letter join a growing chorus of companies large and small urging the Legislature and Gov. Sandoval to enact the clean energy standard into law, Ceres said in a news release. Other companies publicly supporting the bill include MGM Resorts; Barrick Gold Corp., an international mining company with more than 3,000 Nevada employees; and Zappos.com, a Las Vegas-based retail company.

"Successful companies are always looking for ways to save money, reduce risks, and plan for the future," the letter reads. "Clean energy policies, like the RPS, help ensure all customers are able to take advantage of the benefits of having more renewable energy on the grid."

A recent analysis by the Natural Resources Defense Council estimated that the strengthened clean energy standard would attract more than $3 billion in capital investments to Nevada, according to Ceres. The state's standard, which was one of the first in the nation when established in 1997, has helped attract some $6 billion in investment and build a job base of more than 20,000 workers in energy efficiency and solar energy alone.

Editor's note: Ceres is a Smart Energy Decisions content partner

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