Why Nevada Needs Climate Action Now

By making critical climate investments, the Build Back Better Act will create millions of good-paying jobs, lower energy costs for families by roughly $500 a year, invest in disadvantaged communities and tackle the climate crisis. Not only are Nevadans demanding climate action now, with 76% of registered voters supporting Congressional action on climate change, they are experiencing the devastating impacts of climate change. Temperatures across Nevada reached record highs this summer, demonstrating precisely why Congress must act now and pass the Build Back Better Act to secure Nevada’s future. Here’s why Nevada needs the climate investments in the Build Back Better Act now: 

Voters in Nevada want solutions to the climate crisis.

  • 80% of registered voters in Nevada support investments in clean energy jobs and 76% support Congressional climate action. 
  • 83% of Nevada voters support the use of federal funds to combat the climate crisis and invest in efforts to make communities more resilient to the impacts of climate change. 
  • 77% of registered voters in Nevada support tax incentives to make clean energy sources like wind and solar widely available at lower costs, and 75% of voters support rewarding electric utilities that generate more electricity every year from clean energy sources. 

Investing in clean energy means jobs for Nevada.

  • In 2020, Nevada was home to 39,927 clean energy jobs, including 18,723 jobs in generating renewable electricity, 9,209 jobs in energy storage, 10,656 jobs in energy efficiency, and 1,339 jobs in clean vehicles. 
  • One report published in 2020 found that even modest federal clean energy stimulus investments could generate 7,867 jobs in Nevada per year over a 5 year period.

Nevadans are already feeling the impacts of climate change.

  • Nevada is currently facing an immense water crisis, with low levels in Lake Mead forcing the state to reduce its water allocation by nearly 7 billion gallons in 2022. 
  • This summer brought record-breaking heat to much of the West, and Colorado was no exception. Las Vegas, Carson City and Reno all saw record high temperatures. Last year, Las Vegas witnessed its warmest year on record, and Reno recorded its 9th driest year. 
  • Since the 1970’s the average number of fires over 1,000 acres each year has doubled in Nevada, and in August 2021, several counties in Nevada recorded their worst recorded air quality index due to wildfire smoke.

If we do nothing, it will get worse for communities across the state and cost billions.

  • By 2050, Nevada is projected to see nearly 30 days of extreme heat a year, with heat wave days projected to increase from 15 to almost 55 days annually.
  • Climate change could cost Nevada $786 million by 2030 and up to $4 billion by 2050 if the state fails to hit its carbon emission targets. Climate change is also projected to cause a 32% loss in crop yields in Nevada, including a 32% loss in grain production. 
  • Intense drought, combined with extreme temperatures, create tinderbox-like conditions for wildfires in Nevada. By 2050, the number of days with high wildfire potential in the state is projected to jump to 80.

Climate change and fossil fuel pollution have a disproportionate impact on people of color in Nevada.

  • Nevada’s air is among some of the worst in the nation. 94% of Nevada’s Hispanic population lives in counties that received an “F” grade for ozone, and 82% live counties that received an “F” for particle pollution in 2020. In 2012, air pollution led to 97 premature deaths and $898 million in health costs, and in Clark County, African American and Hispanic students have the highest asthma rates.
  • Native communities are disproportionately impacted by pollution from mining operations in Nevada, with studies showing that Native Americans living near abandoned uranium mines are at increased risk of kidney disease, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses.
  • Reno and Las Vegas are the fastest warming cities in the nation. Las Vegas also has the most intense summer urban heat island effect out of all U.S. cities, which was exacerbated by the addition of hundreds of miles of heat-absorbing asphalt and concrete in the mid-2000’s housing boom.  

The Build Back Better Act will help reduce climate pollution and create jobs while investing in disadvantaged communities. 

  • The Build Back Better Act will put our clean energy economy into hyperdrive, including through clean energy tax incentives that will also create jobs and reduce climate pollution.
  •  The Build Back Better Act will make direct investments in  low-income and disadvantaged communities, who have historically bore the burden of pollution and are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts. 
  • The Build Back Better Act will create millions of jobs and invest in workforce development to train workers for better jobs. These programs will also train a more diverse workforce that will address climate change and focus on community resilience projects around the country.
  • The Build Back Better Act will lower household energy costs by investing in clean energy, energy efficiency and home weatherization programs. A report from the Rhodium Group found that the average U.S. household would save roughly $500 a year in energy costs under the Build Back Better Act.