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2019 Conservation Scorecard

Dear Nevadan,

“I will not spend a single second debating the reality of climate change. It is real, and it is irresponsible to ignore the science that proves it — and the lives it has already upended, especially across the West.”

Governor Steve Sisolak, State of the State Address, January 16, 2019

With those words, Governor Steve Sisolak set the tone for the 2019 Legislative Session: No longer would we tiptoe around the issue of climate change. And from that speech started a process where the bill to increase Nevada’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) to 50% clean energy by 2030, with a goal of 100% carbon-free energy by 2050, was signed into law on Earth Day with the entire legislature standing behind him. The 2019 session was a banner one for Nevada’s environment, and it all started by electing the right leaders to go to Carson City.

In 2018, the Nevada Conservation League made record investments in races up and down the ballot. We made our largest ever investment to make sure that Nevada’s Governor would be a clean energy and public lands champion. We made investments to expand pro-conservation majorities in both chambers of the legislature and we worked to ensure that Question 6, the ballot initiative to expand the renewable portfolio standard, passed with a strong majority.

When they got to Carson City, our leaders set about making conservation issues a priority. In addition to increasing the RPS, lawmakers passed bills setting carbon reduction goals in statute, paving the way to more electric vehicles on our roads, and expanding access to solar energy. They also made our public lands a priority by authorizing over $200 million dollars in bonding authority and creating the new Division of Outdoor Recreation. They made it clear to the federal government that Nevadans do not support the proposed military expansions in Fallon and at the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, and they protected our most precious natural resource, our water supplies, by stopping harmful legislation.

In stark contrast to what we see in Washington D.C., our legislators in Carson City worked across the aisle. Nearly all of the bills on this Scorecard passed with bipartisan majorities, and all of our priority legislation passed with unanimous or near-unanimous support. We again set a record for the number of legislators scoring 100%.

Not mentioned in this scorecard is the engagement of our fellow Nevadans from across the state. Our Conservation Lobby Day was the biggest in our organization’s history. We worked with our partner groups to bring Nevadans that care about these issues to Carson City to make sure that legislators understood how important it was to protect our air, land, water and wildlife. 170 people joined us that day, but throughout the session, 25,000 people took action by contacting their elected officials on key conservation issues.

Although this was a banner session, there is still work to be done. NCL continues to work with executive branch agencies and local governments to implement the laws of the 2019 session and to find other opportunities to advance sustainability and environmental protection. For the foreseeable future, we can also expect the attacks on our bedrock environmental laws to keep coming from the Trump administration. NCL is fighting side by side with our partners at the state and national level to hold the line, and we need your help to make sure that we win these fights.

We have included contact information for your legislators. If they scored well and voted for bills that you care about, call them and say thanks. If you would like to see them do better, ask them why they voted the way they did, and let them know these issues are important to you and that you know how they scored. Talking to our elected leaders ensures that they understand our conservation work isn’t done.

Thank you for your support and thank you for checking out the 2019 Conservation Scorecard.

Andy Maggi
Executive Director
Nevada Conservation League