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Reid: Strengthen renewable energy standards

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 20, 2013 at 8:33 pm •  Published: February 20, 2013

But Reid said "loopholes" in the law need to be closed.

"In fact, those loopholes are so large Nevada's major utility could meet the standard without building a single megawatt of new renewable energy for the rest of the decade," he said, adding that "closing these loopholes will strengthen the law and send a powerful signal that Nevada remains committed to kicking our dependence on out-of-state fossil fuels."

In calling for the end of term limits, Reid hailed former state Sen. Randolph Townsend, a Reno Republican who helped author the renewable energy portfolio standards in 1997.

"Sen. Townsend would no doubt be still serving in the Legislature and continuing to advocate for renewable energy if not for the wrong-headed and counterproductive term limit law," Reid said.

Reid, who won re-election to a fifth term in 2010, praised Nevada's record voter turnout in 2012 but said more than 600,000 Nevadans are eligible to vote but not registered. He said Nevada should pass legislation allowing same-day voter registration.

He also took aim at voter identification proposals pending in the Legislature. "This proposal is a solution looking for a problem," Reid said. "Any change to our state's voting process should be enacted to encourage voter turnout, not discourage Nevadans from taking part in democracy."

Reid's speech was not all criticism. He praised Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval for implementing the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and agreeing to expand Medicaid eligibility.

He also urged cooperation in southern Nevada to construct a multi-use sports arena in Las Vegas. "A new arena could be the next frontier for this pioneer town," he said. "But to make a top-notch stadium a reality, it will take top-notch cooperation between Clark County stakeholders."