• Fracking regulations written by frackers?

    Tell the Nevada Legislative Commission that Nevada is Not Ready for Fracking.

    Reject the industry-written rules

    The Commission on Mineral Resources approved the fracking regulations on August 28, 2014.  The final step in finalizing the regulations for addition to the Nevada Administrative Code is the approval by the Nevada Legislative Commission. Click here to read the proposed regulations.

    The Legislative Commission meeting will be held Friday October 24th at 9:00am.

    You can attend the meeting in Las Vegas: Grant Sawyer State Office Building, Room 4401, 55 E. Washington Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada.

    Or you can also observe the meeting and provide public comment through a simultaneous videoconference in Carson City: Nevada State Legislative Building, Room 4100 401 S. Carson Street, Carson City, Nevada.

    fracking

    The regulations the Legislative Commission is poised to approve fall short of providing the kind of protections our communities deserve and precious groundwater demands. The regulations were approved in a rushed, non-transparent process by the Commission on Minerals, which is comprised of members who represent (i.e., own interest in) oil, gas and mining corporations.

    Nevada should follow the lead of New York, which implemented a moratorium on fracking pending a further environmental and socio-economic analysis of fracking’s impacts. Barring that, the minimum changes to the regulations must be made:

    • If the Fracking industry wants to inject chemicals into our groundwater, let’s hold them to a higher standard. Under proposed regulations, there maybe no groundwater sampling, or sampling in the wrong location to intercept contamination. Make the Fracking industry adhere to the same regulations as the mining industry, and require monitoring wells. In addition, we want the company to monitor the groundwater for a longer period of time than just five years.
    • Fugitive methane releases from fracking is a powerful greenhouse gas, yet the current regulations are silent. Ambient air monitoring is needed at oil and gas/hydraulic fracturing sites to assure that hydrogen sulfide is at acceptable levels and that methane gas is not being released excessively. There also needs to be a provision to assure that hydraulic fracturing operations are not emitting excessive greenhouse gases.
    • Bonding amounts for drilled wells contained in current statute are not adequate for Fracking. These regulations, based on traditional oil and gas extraction, are insufficient to cover potential long-term environmental damage.  To supplement the bonding requirements for drilled wells the state of Colorado has included a number of additional financial assurance provisions that Nevada should also include for hydraulic fracturing operations.
    • The proposed regulations fall short on public participation.  Permits for hydraulic fracturing wells should be available for public review prior to finalizing, which includes a detailed plan of operations with the anticipated hydraulic fracturing scheme.  Especially given the public concern over hydraulic fracturing, and in the interest of public engagement and transparency, the NDOM should follow at a minimum the same procedure that NDEP uses for air, water and water pollution control permits.  This procedure is to post the draft permit for a 30 day public comment period, and process comments with agency responses, and then issue a Notice of Decision on the permit. In addition an appeal of a permit procedure should be installed, so that the public has recourse to an independent body, such as the State Environmental Commission.

    Finally, under the proposed regulations, the Nevada Department of Wildlife has zero role in permitting, analysis or even consultation. This is in spite of the fact that Fracking is known to exacerbate the decline of habitat of the endangered sage grouse.

     

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    Tell the committee: We don’t want Nevada’s wild and open lands converted into Fracking Industrial wastelands! Reject fracking industry-written rules!

    Action you can take:   

    1. Comment during public comment at the Legislative Commission Meeting
    2. Send comments to the Legislative Commission: director@lcb.state.nv.us

    Commission Members:

    Assemblywoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Chair – Marilyn.Kirkpatrick@asm.state.nv.us, 702-655-0332

    Assemblyman Jason Frierson, Vice Chair – Jason.Frierson@asm.state.nv.us, 702-280-2981

    Senator Kelvin Atkinson – Kelvin.Atkinson@sen.state.nv.us, 702-457-9995

    Senator Moises Denis – Moises.Denis@sen.state.nv.us, 702-657-6857

    Senator Ben Kieckhefer – Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us, 775-223-9618

    Senator Ruben J. Kihuen – Ruben.Kihuen@sen.state.nv.us, 702-274-1707

    Senator Michael Roberson – Michael.Roberson@sen.state.nv.us, 702-612-6929

    Senator James Settelmeyer – James.Settelmeyer@sen.state.nv.us, 775-450-6114

    Assemblyman Skip Daly – Skip.Daly@asm.state.nv.us, 775-359-0731

    Assemblyman Wesley Duncan – Wesley.Duncan@asm.state.nv.us, 702-767-3733

    Assemblyman Ira Hansen – Ira.Hansen@asm.state.nv.us, 775-221-2502

    Assemblyman Lynn D. Stewart – Lynn.Stewart@asm.state.nv.us, 702-614-0631

  • Job opening in Reno – join the Fight for $15 campaign!

    The Fight for $15 campaign is expanding to Reno!

    Are you ready to work for Nevada’s largest progressive organization to fight for economic justice with Northern Nevada’s low wage workers? Click here to apply today. Interviews for this position start November 10, 2014.

    Read more →

  • Coming out for Social Justice – We Are Powerful


    We are Raising our Voices! (4)

  • Mourning the loss of our friend Sandy

    Sandra Eddy

    Sandy at her 65th birthday party in February

    We were honored to call Sandra “Grammee” Eddy a PLANista and we are still completely heartbroken by her unexpected death this past weekend.

    You have probably met Sandy; at one of our sign in tables, lobbying with us in Carson City, at a rally or a march, at a volunteer meeting, saw her picture on our facebook page, or you were one of the many guests at her 65th birthday party at the PLAN office in February. The Blue Nevadan provides an excellent account of Sandy’s remarkable life.

    Sandy was an active volunteer and board member for many organizations, including Board President for the Nevada AIDS Project. She leaves behind children, grandkids and great-grandkids who she cherished dearly, and spoke of often. She also leaves behind a Progressive community still reeling from this sudden loss, and determined to honor her legacy by continuing to fight for the causes she believed in most, and remembering to love one another unconditionally.

    Even in death Sandy continues to be the same generous and loving person we all came to know and love. As an organ donor, she gave new life to more than 100 people. On Saturday September 27th a celebration of her life is planned in Las Vegas. The time will be 5:30pm, but the location is still to be determined. If you would like an update, just reply to this email.

    Finally, Sandy gave so much to PLAN, through donations, unwavering support, and countless hours of volunteering. Please help us give back to her by helping her family cover final medical costs by making a donation here: Sandra Eddy memorial fund. If you are not able to give, please considering sharing the link with your personal networks so others can contribute.

    Rest in power Sandy. We miss you, and will always love you.

  • Update on Tesla

    Its time to call your legislators!

     

    The special legislative session in Carson City began yesterday and will continue at least through tonight as lawmakers consider a massive, $1.25 billion corporate subsidy package to entice the Tesla battery manufacturing plant to northern Nevada.  Whether today’s actions will be an apology for a decision already made behind closed doors, or a real debate, remains to be seen.

    Only two organizations, PLAN and the Nevada Policy Research Institute, publicly questioned the deal during public testimony. But just because we’re on the same side doesn’t mean the deal is good because it’s the middle position.  Both left and right say this deal’s bad because it’s virtually UNFAIR and the taxpayers are going to pick up the bill for a private corporation’s shareholders.

    Indeed, Good Jobs First has found serious deficiencies in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development report: “Growth induced by Tesla will drive a burden shift…in the absence of revenues from Tesla (which operates tax-free for 10 years), working families’ sales and property tax revenues will have to pick up the slack…Is Nevada paying Tesla what it would have done anyway?”

    And, in the hoopla over Tesla, yesterday’s story showing we’re even more broke than previously thought got buried. Even if the so-called regressive sunset taxes are extended, Nevada still faces at least a $120 million deficit. And higher-than-expected enrollment in Clark County schools puts us in the hole an extra $60 million.

    Given this, the windfall giveaway of $195 million to Tesla for transferable tax  credits is even harder to swallow.  And should low-income Nevadans really help subsidize Tesla’s power costs? Where will Nevada come up with the $43 million to give to the developer for his right of way and to build the new highway? Will Tesla pay prevailing wages?

    There’s a disturbing atmosphere of “groupthink” pervading the building yesterday, as lawmakers and lobbyists are under incredible pressure to ratify the deal and adjourn as quickly as possible. Many are raising serious questions privately, but are are reluctant to go against the grain and voice them publicly. That’s where you come in.

    What can you do? You can go on the record by calling the Legislative Hotline today and voicing your concerns: (775) 684 -6800.

    Ask legislators to to review and support the Guinn Center for Public Policy’s solid recommendations for less corporate subsidies and more transparency and accountability.

    Thank you for all that you do, and for the great feedback we’ve received from our letter to legislators.

     

    Here’s coverage of the day:

    Must read from Reno News & Review

    Bob on Ralston Reports last night talking Tesla

    Business Insider: Lawmakers to consider huge tax breaks for Tesla

     

  • Tesla

    Please find below the letter we’re sending today to lawmakers as they begin the special session to consider the massive corporate subsidy package to seal the Tesla deal for Nevada. I’ll be going to Carson City today and would like to know if you think PLAN’s on track with our analysis. Thanks!

     

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    September 10, 2014

    Dear Members of the Nevada Legislature:

    We join in the excitement surrounding the selection of our great state as the site for Tesla’s massive new manufacturing facility, and wish you well in your deliberations that begin this afternoon.

    But our enthusiasm is tempered by hard, as yet unanswered questions surrounding the deal. Without answers, it’s impossible to know whether this is indeed in the best interests of Nevadans.

    If we are to use our state’s threadbare tax coffers to subsidize this multi-billion dollar corporation, we urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to hold Tesla accountable for creating family-wage jobs with Nevadans first in line, and other benefits for our state. Specifically, you should attach job quality standards regarding wages and benefits, indexed to inflation over the 20-year deal, to the Tesla tax breaks. You should also mandate customized training and first-source hiring procedures to maximize hiring opportunities for Nevadans. And to deter outsourcing or the use of temp agencies, all of Tesla’s tax breaks (not just the refundable credits) should require direct employment and be pegged to employment levels (so that property and sales tax exemptions would be scaled back if Tesla does not reach and maintain 6,500 employees).

    We seriously question the highly dubious 80:1 payoff that the Sandoval Administration has touted as our gamble-free return on investment. The Legislative Counsel Bureau should be directed to provide you with an independent analysis of that claim because it mixes apples and oranges: taxpayer costs with benefits that are not equivalent tax-revenue gains.

    If the 80-1 ratio is incorrect, what else is being fudged in the economic analysis? Storey County, where the facility is being built, currently has only 16 firefighters. Who will pay the costs, sure to be created by growth, for teachers and schools, public safety, sanitation, roads, transit and other infrastructure? The Governor’s own analysis says sales and property taxes paid by working families will become the available revenue while Tesla pays nothing. Will this deal create pressure to raise the sales and property tax rates?

    The proposed Tesla contribution of $7.5 million per year for schools for five years (while it would pay no property taxes for 10 years and no sales tax for 20 years) seems like chicken scratch for an influx of thousands of children of new workers. Will this be enough to ensure that our already overcrowded and underfunded schools meet the challenge of educating a new workforce? We doubt it.

    Governor Sandoval’s open-ended proclamation leaves the door open for other corporations, such as Switch, to come feed at the tax-break trough of this special session. Don’t entertain this foolishness. Keep the focus on Tesla alone.

    In closing, we at PLAN support taxpayer investments in education and infrastructure because they benefit all employers. They avoid putting a lot of eggs in any one corporate basket, reducing our risk if a deal doesn’t pan out. This subsidy package is 14 times bigger than any prior deal in Nevada history. It deserves 14 times more caution and safeguards to protect taxpayers.

    While some subsidies may be warranted, the deal on the table appears far too generous, and far too risky.

    Thank you for your service to our state.

     

     

    Sincerely,

    Bob's_signature

     

     

     

    Executive Director
    Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
    821 Riverside Drive
    Reno, Nevada 89503
    (775) 348-7557

     

    PS. One last question, which has been asked by others but only answered by silence: Why can’t the state of Nevada come together on a plan to raise revenues to fix our broken education system as enthusiastically as the rush to create a $1.3 billion package of corporate subsidies for a single company in one part of the state?

  • BREAKING: Fast Food Workers go on strike SEPTEMBER 4th

  • Governor Sandoval: Investigate corporations that are ripping off Nevada’s low wage workers

    Nevada Inc., the cabal of big corporate lobbyists who consider our state’s public resources as their private piggy bank, is at it again. This time, they were caught cheating the lowest-paid workers in the state out of millions of dollars.

    Voters overwhelmingly approved increasing the state’s minimum wage to a dollar above the federal amount in 2006. If employers provided health care, they were exempt from paying the higher minimum wage. Last week, we learned that giant corporations were skirting this law with impunity. TakeAction

    Fat cat lobbyists for big business subverted the will of the people by inserting the word “offer” instead of “provide” health care in the minimum wage regulations. So a corporation can offer health care at a price workers can’t afford, and exempt itself from paying the extra dollar an hour for minimum wage!

    How did they change the law without going through the legislative process? Much the same way gold mining lobbyists subverted the process by writing in the administrative code huge tax loopholes that the Legislature never authorized.

     

    But thousands of workers whose paychecks are getting shorted need our help now. Click here to demand Governor Sandoval immediately investigate how Nevada’s wealthiest corporations have stolen millions of dollars of wages from our lowest paid workers.

  • What the Nevada mining industry doesn’t want you to know

    Last night we hosted a community forum about the mining industry with local experts to educate southern Nevadans about the impacts mining has on our environment. Even though the event was in Las Vegas, the Elko Daily Free Press announced the event on the front page of their paper.

    Nevadans listen to John Hadder of Great Basin Resource Watch talk Pit Lakes
    Today in a letter to the editor, a representative of Governor Sandoval’s Economic Development Office, attacked the newspaper, PLAN, John Hadder of Great Basin Resource Watch and Dr. Tom Myers, suggesting that a newspaper – our free press – should not provide coverage to any person or group the mining industry does not agree with.

    The mining industry and the state agencies that support them think we want to end mining in Nevada. That couldn’t be further from the truth, and they know it. They don’t want us to talk because they know the more Nevadans learn about what mining does to our environment, the more people will want to hold the industry accountable for their actions.

    Foreign-owned multinational mining corporations think they can use their overwhelming power and influence to control everyone, and they’ve tried this type of bullying in the past; we will not run and hide from these types of tactics.