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Nevada Legislature votes to end state's involvement with NGS

Modified: Tuesday, Jun 4th, 2013

The Nevada Assembly on June 3 passed a bill that will end the state’s use of power from the Navajo Generating Station, according to a statement from opponents of coal power.

Gov. Brian Sandoval has indicated his support for Senate Bill 123, which also sets the wheels in motion to retire Nevada Energy’s Reid Gardner coal plant and charts a course for developing renewable energy sources, said the statement issued by the Moapa Band of Paiutes and Sierra Club.

NV Energy owns 11.3 percent of NGS, according to Salt River Project spokesman Scott Harelson, who said when the legislation was introduced in April that Nevada's withdrawal from ownership would further complicate an already complex process underway to extend the life the plant.

Los Angeles had announced earlier in the year that it was divesting itself of NGS ownership.

The Moapa Band of Paiutes and the Sierra Club said they’ve fought for several years to retire the Reid Gardner coal plant that sits immediately adjacent to the Moapa River reservation. Paiute families have been suffering for decades from high rates of asthma, heart disease, lung disease, and cancer they believe are related to the plant’s air pollution.

In the weeks leading up to the state Assembly’s vote, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Nevada campaign launched a radio and online ad campaign in support of the measure, and contacted thousands of supporters around the state to urge legislators to pass the bill, according to the statement.

“Diverse groups from across the state have rallied behind this measure and they have made one thing very clear: coal-fired power is no longer a viable energy option for our state,” said Jane Feldman, Sierra Club State Energy Task Force chairwoman.

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