Nevada Opposes Clean Power Plan Because It Might Harm Gambling Industry

(REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

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Nevada joined the ranks of states suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over the so-called Clean Power Plan, with public officials claiming the move was meant to protect the state’s gambling industry from harm.

Nevada officials argued the state can afford to comply with the overarching climate regulations, but fear the CPP would inevitably hurt the state’s economy.

“First, EPA’s unprecedented regulations harm energy consumers in other states, thus threatening harm to the overall national economy and in turn to Nevada’s vital tourism industry,” Nevada Republican Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt wrote Tuesday in a brief filed with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s home state is the 30th state or state agency to oppose President Barack Obama’s signature climate plan. The EPA-administered plan requires each state to slash its respective carbon emissions 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The states opposing the CPP argue the plan does not comply with the Clean Air Act, which mandates that individual power plants ratchet down emissions rather than the states housing them.

Proponents of the new climate rule lamented the move, calling it a possible death knell for Nevada’s environment.

“Attorney General Laxalt’s plan to oppose the Clean Power Plan is not in the state’s or its residents’ best interest, as it threatens job growth, hampers economic diversification, and works against Nevada’s efforts to be the nation’s clean energy leader,” Jennifer Taylor, executive director of the Clean Energy Project advocacy group, told reporters Wednesday.

She added: “Nearly 75 percent of Nevadans want to see our state act on climate through reducing carbon pollution, and more than 250 businesses have pledged their support for Nevada’s efforts to comply with the Clean Power Plan.”

Other groups have etched out a more sanguine approach.

Nathan Nascimento, the director of state initiatives at free market non-profit group Freedom Partners, issued a statement championing the decision.

“Instead of rolling over for a wildly unpopular and legally questionable EPA rule that will drive up costs on the middle class and destroy jobs, states like Nevada understand that public interests come first – not the President’s special interests,” Nascimento said through the statement.

The Supreme Court stayed the CPP earlier in February, essentially agreeing with states that oppose the plan. The SCOTUS decision was made following state attorney generals request that the Court halt the plan until its legality can be determined.

“Five justices of the Supreme Court agreed with North Dakota and other parties that EPA’s regulation would impose massive irreparable harms on North Dakota and the rest of the country and that there was a substantial likelihood EPA was acting unlawfully,” Paul Seby, an attorney with law firm Greenberg Traurig representing North Dakota, told The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Michael Bastasch shortly after the SCOTUS issued its decision.

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