24 Aug Question 3: Who’s Paying For it?
Last week we dove into the effects Question 3 would have on rooftop solar, and many of you asked for more in depth information on the bill. Well you asked and we answered! Starting with what companies are paying for the thousands of ads you see on your TV, radio and computer.
The backers of the Energy Choice Initiative begin with Sheldon Adelson of Sands Corp. and the data company Switch. The Nevada Secretary of State has logged over $23 million in donations to the cause. Where $22 million is from these two companies alone. The remainder is a $10,000 donation from MGM and a total of $335,100 from Valley Electric and Energy Choice Nevada.
The motivations behind Sands Corp. and Switch are simple.
Sheldon Adelson tried leaving NVEnergy at the same time as MGM and the Wynn back in 2015. Sands Corp. decided against it because they didn’t want to pay the $42 million price tag to do so. Instead, he opted to try and do away with NVEnergy entirely through the Energy Choice Initiative so that Sands can do whatever they please. Adelson has never been a proponent of green energy, he actually has been against many green energy initiatives in the past. When it comes to Question 3, his motives are strictly financial, which is troubling as a main contributor to a piece of legislation that is pushing the idea of green energy as one if it’s main goals.
Switch is a better backer, but is still problematic. Switch is a massive data center with two huge locations in Nevada. They have a history of backing green energy and being sustainable in every aspect that they can. On the surface, this looks to be a great backer for the Yes on 3 campaign. The flip side is that Rob Roy, founder of Switch, has stated that he would want to expand into the energy production market. A newly opened Nevada would be a perfect window for Switch to jump into the ring.
The remaining donations to Yes on 3 are from MGM, Valley Electric and Energy Choice Nevada. The MGM donation is exceptionally small and was recorded way back in 2016 when the bill was first voted on. There have also been multiple donations from Valley Electric, which has the possibility to expand without PUC regulation if passed, and Energy Choice Nevada which has taken donations from both Sands and Switch in the past.
No on Question 3 Total Donations: $12,705,786 since 2018
The Coalition to Defeat Question 3 is even more straight forward than the Yes on 3 donations. It’s all NVEnergy except for a small $4,436 donation from AARP earlier this year.
We’re not going to go into the reasons for NVEnergy backing No on 3. They have the most to lose as our monopoly energy provider and distributor. AARP has been a vocal backer of the Coalition to Defeat Question 3 since the beginning. They believe that the change could lead to higher energy prices and increased possibility of rolling blackouts. Blackouts could lead to extreme safety issues for seniors that rely on life saving medical equipment that run on their homes electric system. They are also concerned about predatory companies taking advantage of seniors who aren’t aware of their choices, which has happened in other states. Whether the blackouts or predatory tactics this will be an issue for Nevada still remains to be seen, but it is unlikely to happen to the extent that No on 3 fears.
Remember, these are just the financial backers for the bill, later we’ll go over the organizations that have vocally backed each side of Question 3. We have also spoken with Chris Brooks within the last week with more information regarding our previous blog about the effects of Question 3 on rooftop solar. So expect more in depth information soon!