As the Nevada legislative session rolls toward its close on June 1, questions are being raised about the origins of AB330, a bill sponsored by Minority Floor Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D-1). Though currently tabled, the key language of the legislation significantly overlaps a bill passed by the Arizona legislature that, according to our sources, was authored by Pinnacle West, the holding company of the utility Arizona Public Service.
Like the similar Pinnacle West bill that was passed on March 30, 2015, Kirkpatrick’s bill, that was introduced on March 16, would require would impose extensive equipment registration requirements on the rooftop solar industry, something that many say would give an advantage to in-state utilities that are fighting the popular, fast-growing solar industry in Nevada.
While the Assemblywoman is, of course, free to author any bill she chooses, her original bill contained much of the same content as the Arizona legislation. For example:
The Pinnacle West bill has the same provisions:
This raises several questions. First and foremost: Why is this powerful Nevada Democrat pushing legislation that seems to have its origins with an out-of-state utility’s lobbying staff?
Questions for Kirkpatrick
We emailed and called Assemblywoman Kirkpatrick’s office with the following questions, on which we are awaiting comment.
- What public problem is this bill intended to address?
- What evidence exists of the problem?
- How do you explain the overlap in language between your bill and the Pinnacle West bill?
- Who first approached you about sponsoring this bill?
- Who provided the original draft?
- Which lobbyists working in favor of your bill have you worked with? Who or what companies were they representing?
- Do any of these lobbyists represent companies or interests that have provided contributions, gifts or perks of any sort to you or your staff?
Rooftop solar is booming in Arizona and Nevada, yet curious moves are underway in those states and others to inhibit a technology that the overwhelming majority of Americans say they want. Perhaps we don’t understand the Assemblywoman’s motivation. We look forward to hearing from her.
Scott Peterson is executive director of the Checks and Balances Project, a national watchdog that seeks to hold government officials, lobbyists and corporate management accountable to the public. Funding for C&BP comes from pro-clean energy philanthropies and donors.