Today, the Las Vegas Metro Chamber announced its opposition to Ballot Question 3 that, if passed in the November General Election, would change the Nevada Constitution in regards to how energy is regulated in the state.
The decision was based primarily on concerns about the impact of making this change by amending the state constitution, rather than through the legislative process. Because Question 3 would change the Nevada constitution through a ballot initiative that requires passage by voters in two elections, any changes or amendments would also require ballot initiatives passed by voters in two elections. This would make any modifications very difficult to make. The Chamber has historically been opposed to supporting ballot measures that would amend the state constitution.
The decision was made by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee, a group comprised 33 Chamber members from a cross section of industries and company size. This is a group of Metro Chamber members who analyze issues and make determinations that guide the Metro Chamber’s positioning on policy and legislative matters that may impact Nevada’s employers and employees.
The GAC has taken the last six months to consider the ballot question and its long-term impacts on the state along with what it could mean to employers and employees. The Committee heard from multiple speakers from both proponents and opponents about the pros and cons of the measure. Additionally, it heard a presentation from the Guinn Center, as well as considered the recent report released by the Center analyzing the impacts of the measure. The GAC also met with energy policy experts as part of their deliberative process.
“Because Question 3 would change the Nevada Constitution, it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to make any modifications to it in the event there are unintended consequences that would hurt consumers or create confusion in the marketplace,” said Hugh Anderson, chairman of the GAC. “Our decision about Question 3 is based on changing the constitution. We leave the door open to explore opportunities to open up the Nevada energy market to more competition during the normal legislative process.”
The Committee also noted that there have been mixed results in other states that have deregulated their energy markets, including higher prices for consumers, lack of rules to protect consumers, and marketplace confusion. Some states have had to modify their rules governing the open energy market, and others have taken steps to reverse the deregulated environment.
Click here to view The Energy Choice Initiative Voter Information Guide.