Battle for the Senate: Nevada

A tight race with sharply contrasting candidates. Want to gamble on the outcome?

The two major party candidates in the Nevada race agree on the desirability of renewable power, but that’s about all they agree on.  Joe Heck, a Republican doctor with extensive military experience, favors streamlined permitting for renewable project on federal lands and wants state governments to get a share of the benefits.  But he also says he has “supported legislation to protect the coal industry from President Obama’s harmful regulation and the EPA’s overzealous rulemaking.”  He blames the Obama Administration for “overbearing regulations and unreasonable environmental concerns” that “have prevented the domestic energy production sector of our economy from realizing its full potential.” He also cosponsored the REINS Act, an effort to give Congress veto power over new regulations. No wonder he has a League of Conservation Voters rating of only 8%.

Heck also complains that “far too much of our land . . is controlled by the federal government.” He attacks Obama for designating the basin and Range Monument, and Heck fought to stop designation of the Sage Grouse as an endangered species.

His opponent is Catherine Cortez Masto, the state’s Attorney General.  She also strongly supports renewables as a way of diversifying the economy and bringing “good-paying, middle-class jobs in our state that can’t be outsources.”  Recalling her childhood at a time when Las Vegas was a small city of 200,000, she pledges to “fight to ensure that future generations are able to experience the incredible natural resources Nevada has to offer, just like I did.”  She makes a particular point of her opposition to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site:

“As Attorney General, I fought to prevent Washington bureaucrats from turning our state into a nuclear waste dump; as a Senator, I will work with Senator Dean Heller to fight this dangerous scheme that threatens the health and safety of Nevada families.  Yucca Mountain is dead and will continue to be if I’m fortunate enough to be elected as Nevada’s next Senator.”

Yucca Mountain was a winning issue for Harry Reid.  Let’s see if it works for Cortez Masto.