Major league advice

As Nevada eyes its budget for further cuts, the Nevada Conservation League has issued its “Conservation Priorities” to the state legislature. They include creating renewable energy jobs, responsible renewable energy development, protecting Nevada parks and defining environmental soundness.

Taken separately, for clean energy jobs, the NCL includes in its suggestions a goal of 400 megawatts of distributed generation by 2020 and moving toward a performance-based standard that would pay for the actual energy production.

Regarding responsible renewable energy development, the NCL says a major hurdle to clean energy development is how to identify and mitigate effects on wildlife. The group suggests creating an impact fee for all energy projects, as well as an office to determine impacts to wildlife and their habitats. It added, “The new revenue stream would allow the state to bring in additional federal money for habitat improvements,” and the newly created office would help streamline the permitting process.

To protect parks, the NCL suggests that when people register their vehicles, the DMV collect a fee to preserve the parks. Those who pay it would be given free day-use access to state parks.

The group also wants the state engineer to defineenvironmental soundness” when considering applications to remove water from one basin to another. A statement from NCL said, “Nevada’s current water law concerning interbasin transfers states that the State Engineer ‘shall consider whether the proposed action is environmentally sound.’ However, there is no definition of what this means.”