New law provides more certainty for energy markets
Nevada’s shifting energy policy may be a microcosm of wider U.S. policy, as Gov. Bill Sandoval this week signed a bill that reinstates net metering for photovoltaic solar power systems.
The Nevada Public Utilities Commission eliminated net metering in late 2015, which created uncertainty in the renewable energy market. The new law reinstates a framework for owners of solar panels in the state to get reimbursed for excess energy they generate. Continue reading “Nevada restores solar net metering”→
Proposed bill would enable desert-killing groundwater exploitation
After failing several times to win approval for a new groundwater depletion scheme via regulatory channels, the Southern Nevada Water Authority is now pursuing a legislative water grab that could devastate fragile desert ecosystems and push some endangered species even closer to extinction.
Most recently, the Nevada Supreme Court rejected the Las Vegas bid for a new pipeline.
Assembly Bill 298 would enable for groundwater export projects that would harm prings and wetlands, degrade air quality with fugitive dust and impact existing water rights holders. During the hearing numerous members of conservation groups and the public spoke to vigorously oppose the bill. Continue reading “Thirsty Las Vegas pushes legislative water grab”→
Activists launch online petition launched to spur action
Feral cattle that may be descended from livestock owned by outlaw rancher Cliven Bundy is roaming the Nevada desert, and activists say the cows deserve humane treatment. To that end, they’ve launched an online petition to focus national attention on the fate of the cattle.
Abrupt climate change ripples through desert ecosystems
Freshwater springs outside Las Vegas offer some clues about how global warming will affect desert ecosystems, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
New research shows the seeps and springs expanded and contracted dramatically in response to past episodes of abrupt climate change, even disappearing altogether for centuries at a time when conditions became too warm.
“This is a story of water,” said Springer. “Water was plentiful in the desert at times in the past, but when climate warmed, springs and wetlands dried up, and the plants and animals living in the harsh desert environment were out of luck,” said USGS scientist Kathleen Springer. Continue reading “Nevada fossil records offer global warming clues”→
Ruling marks another win for activist network opposing the massive groundwater pumping and pipeline plan
FRISCO — A bid by Las Vegas to drain groundwater from distant valleys took another hit this week, as the Nevada Supreme Court blocked the latest legal maneuver by the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Nevada State Engineer, who petitioned the court for writs of mandamus.
The ruling is a win for critics of the SNWA pipeline project, including White Pine County, the Great Basin Water Network and local Native American tribes, who say the plan will dry up springs and groundwater needed by local communities, as well as wildlife that relies on scarce sources of water in central and eastern Nevada. Continue reading “Nevada Supreme Court rejects Las Vegas water grap”→
New lawsuit filed to void federal OK for proposed desert pipeline
FRISCO — A recent ruling by the Nevada Supreme Court appears to reinforce arguments by conservation advocates that a scheme to develop and pipe groundwater to Las Vegas can’t pass scientific, environmental or legal muster.
BLM lease sales based on flawed, incomplete analysis, environmentalists say
FRISCO — Conservation advocates are formally challenging a Bureau of Land Management proposal to lease lands for natural gas exploitation in north-central Nevada based in part on the federal agency’s failure to require an in-depth environmental study.
The lease sale could open up more than 174,000 acres around Tonopah and Austin on 102 lease parcels. In filing the protest, the Center for Biological Diversity spelled out a laundry list of concerns about the BLM’s process, highlighting the fact that the agency’s evaluation of the proposed lease doesn’t come close to addressing key environmental concerns. Instead of developing more fossil fuel resources, the emphasis in Nevada should be on renewable energy resources like wind, solar and geothermal. Continue reading “Conservation group challenges Nevada fracking plan”→