LETTERS: Renewable energy paying considerable dividends for Nevada

To the editor:

Your editorial supporting fracking for fossil fuels in Nevada needlessly attacked renewable energy — the leading energy resource Nevada currently generates (“Nevada prepares for arrival of fracking,” March 29 Review-Journal). Regardless of whether you support fracking, Nevada’s clean energy generation and economy has grown significantly. It has created jobs while stabilizing energy prices by reducing risks generated by fluctuating fossil fuel prices.

Additionally, the claim clean energy needs subsidies to compete implies natural gas and other fossil fuels do not receive subsidies. This statement is beyond misleading. It is flat-out wrong. The truth of the matter is all energy resources receive subsidies, including the natural gas industry.

Energy is a fundamental economic pillar delivering essential life-sustaining goods such as water and food. In order to protect this economic pillar, Nevadans and Americans give crucial support to ensure we harness diverse energy resources. This should not be a “one or the other” option, especially in Nevada. Our state possesses little fossil fuel resources and vast amounts of renewable resources.

Recently, Clean Energy Project released a white paper that demonstrated significant benefits to the state attributed to the past four years of renewable energy development. Nevada’s Renewable Energy Tax Abatement program, passed by the Nevada Legislature and implemented by the Governor’s Office of Energy, has attracted $5.5 billion of capital investment for renewable projects with only $500 million in abatements. This is a 10-to-1 rate of return on our investments. These projects also created thousands of jobs and $820 million in employment and property tax benefits to the state.

We may find natural gas and oil resources in Nevada, and having a public debate on the merits of fracking is needed. However, framing the discussion as a choice between renewable energy and natural gas is not only extremely shortsighted, but is not beneficial to the present or future Nevada economy. Renewable energy must continue to grow in Nevada so that the state can take full advantage of our natural resources. Exploiting these renewable natural resources is increasingly putting our neighbors back to work while decreasing the risks associated with the volatile price of fossil fuels.



The writer is executive director of the nonprofit Clean Energy Project.

School choice

To the editor:

Zachary Moyle offers some excellent arguments in his commentary for why Nevada should get with the times and start offering families private school choice, as 24 other states offer (“No one should have to settle for a lousy school,” March 24 Review-Journal). As a mom, however, it feels a little weird to compare my kids to burgers.

So I offer a more fitting analogy. Think of it like health care. This is a crucial service that government often provides. But no government forces me to get health care at only one hospital in my region. And while health care is rife with experts and specialists, I would have the freedom to choose mine and my kids’ doctors and treatments, using the advice of anyone I please.

There is no good reason education cannot function like this, or even better. The major reason it doesn’t is that all the people currently benefiting from the current illogical setup, at my expense and my kids’ expense, don’t want to change.



The author is an education research fellow with the Heartland Institute.

Military experience

To the editor:

Regarding Wednesday’s shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, the leaders of our country apparently learned nothing from the 2009 incident at the same Army base, which ended with so many innocent people being killed.

This is what happens when we have a president and numerous members of Congress who have never served a day in their life on active duty micro-managing our military forces.

Four years of active duty should be an absolute requirement to be in any of these offices — especially when these people have the power to keep cutting and cutting the military budget, but always manage to find money for their pet projects. Trying to save money by hiring rent-a-cops to provide security at the gates of U.S. military bases is not working. Put the soldiers back at the gates, with their automatic weapons, automatic tire spikes and trained K-9s, and we wouldn’t have to be hearing of more Americans dead on what should be some of the safest ground in the United States.

The United States won’t have to worry about a foreign entity taking over our country by force. All we have to do is continue to let the president and Congress cut military funding to the point that we can’t provide security for our country, much less our military bases. Our enemies will then just be able to walk in and take over.



Veterans deserve better

To the editor:

Veterans in Nevada and all over the United States are hurting, some far more than others. Many veterans’ lives have been put on hold while Veterans Affairs takes its time processing paperwork for aid.

Sadly, some veterans have seen only one way out — taking their own lives. That is shameful. I hope that the Democrats here in Nevada and those sitting in Congress will give their support to getting veterans the help that they need and so deserve.