Nevada News Service
Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, and a Nevada tribe member says he plans to
buttonhole the prospective new owners of utility company NV Energy and
make sure they know about the extent of the pollution problem they are
According to Vernon Lee, an environmental committee member with the
Moapa Band of Paiutes, there could be a brighter future for renewables
with a Warren Buffett-owned company buying NV Energy. However, he
said, the prospective owners also need to know they are buying into an
enormous pollution problem at the Reid Gardner power plant.
“We believe that NV Energy is not going to be forthright and tell them
that they have a big problem at Reid Gardner,” Lee said. “They
probably will minimize anything about Reid, whereas the tribe has
Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicate both
companies involved approved the merger on May 29 and Buffett’s
MidAmerica Energy Holdings is paying $5.6 billion for NV Energy. The
sale needs to be approved by the state Public Utilities Commission and
by federal regulators.
The energy chair of the Toiyabe Chapter of the Sierra Club, Jane
Feldman, said they expect the lawsuit filed last week over Reid
Gardner cleanup will likely force any new owners to abide by what they
expect will be a court-ordered settlement agreement.
“That will have a strong enforceable action plan to take care of all
of the coal ash and sludge that’s at the site and properly contain it
and dispose of it,” she said.
Vernon Lee noted that his tribe is in the solar power business and up
until now the only market has been out of state. He hopes the pending
sale changes that.
“Now, the Buffett thing is a game-changer,” Lee declared. “We’re
hoping the Buffett energy division will be looking more into the
future and will do renewables. Our best hope is that they will look at
what we’re doing and give us a power-purchase agreement, and let us
start generating power for them.
According to the SEC, the CEO of NV Energy will take home $21 million
from the planned sale of the company.