Nevada Sen. Harry Reid discusses solar issues, tax repeal petition

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., talks to reporters in Carson City in 2014.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., talks to reporters in Carson City in 2014.

RENO — In a roundtable at his Reno office on Thursday, Sen. Harry Reid laid out opinions on a laundry list of issues ranging from solar net metering to the effort to repeal the 2015 Legislature’s tax package to Republican obstruction at the state and national levels.

The Democrat said solar advocates “got a lousy deal in the (Nevada) Legislature.”

He said he likes and respects Warren Buffett, who bought NVEnergy.

“I think he’s a good person. But I think he’s wrong on rooftop solar,” Reid said.

He said Buffett’s company wanted to keep the same business model that was developed by Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse in the 1880s.

He said it’s a monopolistic attitude that no longer works and the utilities can’t keep people from generating their own electric power in a diversified and much greener system.

Asked whether Gov. Brian Sandoval should intervene with the Public Utilities Commission and the utility, he said, “Why not, I’m trying to intervene.”

The subject of intervention came up in questions about the petition drive to repeal the tax package approved by the 2015 Legislature.

He said if asked, “I will do everything I can to help Governor Sandoval” block the repeal.

“I think what he was able to do with that legislature was masterful,” Reid said. “What he was dealing with is, wow.”

Reid referred to some of those Nevada Republican members as “the crazies.”

He had similar comments for the national Republican members of the Senate and House.

He said on the drought, the GOP nationally denies everything despite the evidence “the world is changing before our eyes.”

“The climate has changed,” he said. “We have to do something. We can no longer ignore it.”

Reid said climate change isn’t the only issue the GOP is wrong about.

“They’re opposed to everything that’s decent,” he said.

He said that list also includes women’s health, immigration reform and repeal of Obamacare.

“I just don’t know why they’re still around,” he said. “The Republicans aren’t letting us legislate. There are things we could do to Obamacare. They won’t let us.”

On the subject of revived calls for opening of Yucca Mountain nuclear dump, Reid said, “It’s gone.”

He said hundreds of millions of dollars worth of equipment there have been “ground up” since the project was defunded in 2009.

Reid said other states are interested in taking the nuclear waste: “If a state wants it, let them have it.”

He also made it clear even though he’s retiring when his term ends in 16 months, he’s far from done yet. He predicted a much stronger democratic turnout for next year’s elections that occurred in 2014 and said he’s working toward the goal of restoring democratic power at the state and national level.

Reid is in town through the weekend before returning to Washington, D.C. He said he’s blind in one eye but, otherwise, recovering from the accident he had in January. He said he’s coping with the loss of depth perception and once again exercising.

He said fortunately for him, there was no brain damage in the fall while exercising.


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