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Big money and star power highlight energy choice fight in Nevada

Posted: 8:35 PM, Oct 29, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-30 04:24:29Z
Big money and star power lead energy fight in NV
Big money and star power lead energy fight in NV
Big money and star power lead energy fight in NV

Opponents of Nevada's Energy Choice Initiative have outspent supporters two to one but those in favor of opening the state's electric market to competition are bringing the star power.

Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott said he applied the no BS mentality to Nevada's energy market after installing solar on his Las Vegas home a few years ago.

He is now the face of the Yes on Question 3 campaign starring in commercials for the cause.

"All of these profits are going to billionaires who are not Nevadans.  They don't live here.  Why should all of the profits go there instead of bringing down the rates of the millions who live here," Scott said.

The battle has generated around $100 million in fundraising between the two sides, with opponents raising nearly two-thirds of that total.

RELATED: Energy choice is a $100 million question on Nevada ballot

Opponents hitting hard on the fact the ballot question is a constitutional amendment that would force legislators to redraft regulations for the state's energy market.

"If things go wrong it would actually take a minimum of 4 years to change it," Skenandore said. "When you lock something into the constitution it supersedes everything that came before it."

Supporters say those changes are not made without research and say those changes are needed to help drive Nevada's renewable energy forward.

"We don't want to change the constitution lightly, but we also have to make sure we are not so stubborn that we are sticking with old school ways that don't function in a new world.  We have technologies today we have an industry today that did not exist when this constitution was written," Scott said

Supporters citing energy information administration stats showing electric rates 14 percent lower in states with energy choice but the EIA acknowledges the different sources of power in each state make it extremely difficult to compare. 

Opponents pointing to a report by the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada showing the Energy Choice Initiative would likely increase rates for Nevadans in the first ten years, with that same report saying rates would possibly go down once the transition is completed.