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A project of the Nevada Conservation League

Governor Steve Sisolak

Steve Sisolak
2021 ScoreA

Governor Sisolak:

Phone: (775) 684-5670


Governor Sisolak has continued to take significant steps to protect our state’s air, land, water, and wildlife. The past two years have been incredibly difficult as the COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully gotten most of the attention of the Governor’s office. Despite that, Governor Sisolak has remained committed to advancing clean energy and climate goals and protecting the wildlife and open spaces that make our state so special. Our evaluation of the Governor is below in four key areas.

Leadership: A

Governor Sisolak remains an advocate for conservation issues and is committed to reducing our state’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the fall of 2019, he issued an executive order that directed state agencies to advance Nevada’s ambitious climate goals and carry out the goals of the Paris Climate agreement in accordance with our membership in the US Climate Alliance. This Executive Order led to the Nevada Climate Initiative. This extensive process engaged the public in developing the state’s first Climate Strategy report, which will serve as a roadmap to meeting our state’s carbon reduction goals. Governor Sisolak also continues to prioritize the importance of conservation & stewardship of our public lands. He signed an Executive Order to help conserve Nevada’s sagebrush ecosystem and migratory habitat and has been an active participant in Nevada Public Lands Day each year.

Administration: A

The Governor has made good personnel decisions, with pro-conservation directors at the Department of Wildlife, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the Governor’s Office of Energy. In addition, the creation of the state’s Climate Strategy engaged leadership at many other state agencies, many of them working on climate issues for the first time. The Division of Environmental Protection has done an incredible job in moving the state toward establishing Clean Car standards, and are making progress on regulations to protect our most outstanding water bodies. His administration continues to have an open door and willingness to work with advocates from many different organizations.

Appointments: A

In the past two years, Governor Sisolak has made numerous pro-conservation appointments to various boards and commissions. His strong appointments to the Public Utilities Commission has led them to prioritizing fighting climate change and opening an investigatory docket on the use and future of methane gas. He has also made strong appointments to many boards such as the State Environmental Commission, Nevada Clean Energy Fund, and the Board of Wildlife Commissioners. Most recently, the Governor has made several appointments to the Mining Oversight and Accountability Commission, leaving advocates hopeful that this commission will once again meet regularly and provide critical oversight and transparency.

Legislative Session: A-

In a session dominated by pandemic response and economic recovery, Governor Sisolak did not forget about conservation issues. He also supported and signed multiple bills to increase clean energy, such as SB448 which will lead to investments in clean energy transmission, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, and energy efficiency programs while prioritizing historically underserved communities. The Governor signed every pro-conservation bill that came across his desk. We would have liked for his office to play a bigger role in legislation dealing with methane gas planning, especially since this is a strategy called out in the state Climate Strategy. That being said, the 2021 session was a strong one for conservation issues and the Governor played a key role in that.