Commerce Matters: Let’s build a sustainable future for Reno-Sparks (Voices)

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

During the early days of COVID-19, the Chamber of Commerce took a stand in favor of a more sustainable and resilient Nevada, one that is prepared to restart a diversified and stable economy that supports well-paying jobs and boosts the clean energy progress we’ve already made.

The Chamber continues to believe we must build our green, clean energy economy and that bold changes will require the cooperation of local, state and federal decision-makers.

From severe droughts to wildfires, Nevada has experienced 12 extreme weather events in the past decade, costing the state more than $1 billion in damages. We don’t need to look too far back in time to see why the largest effort to combat climate change in our nation’s history is included in the Build Back Better Act and is critical for our region.

If passed, the BBBA will build on the investments already made in the infrastructure bill and, among other priorities, transform our country’s fight against climate change with high-speed internet access, improved public transportation and expanded EV charging stations across Nevada.

These investments will strengthen the foundation for Nevada’s families who need to thrive in the 21st century.

There is still more to be done, and the Build Back Better Act, currently under consideration in Congress, might get us further along in our efforts. Despite the controversy surrounding the proposed legislation and the drama we read about, we know as professionals, parents, residents and engaged citizens that our country needs to embrace the future, the future that we all see coming as it’s reflected in our conversations with our community’s youth, teachers, parents, workers and politicians.

National investments in climate resiliency, including $8.6 million specifically allocated to wildfire prevention in Nevada, mean that our region’s economy can grow and maintain itself while also preparing for climate change.

There are so many reasons to love living and working in Reno and Sparks. Let’s build the sustainable future we want for generations to come and stop arguing about it. Let’s get to work in 2022.

“Commerce Matters” is a monthly Voices column authored by Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at


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