Big Money Defeats Question 3 in Nevada

A landmark campaign ended in a landmark defeat on Tuesday as Nevadans voted by more than two-thirds to defeat ballot Question 3, the constitutional amendment, which would have ended NV Energy’s monopoly on the state’s electricity market and created a competitive energy market.



The measure had previously passed in 2016, with more than 75% of voters in favor. But constitutional amendments require a second vote to become law. This year’s vote on Question 3 demonstrated a sharp reversal from 2016’s results. The defeat was the first time in more than 20 years that a constitutional amendment failed the second required vote after passing the first. It was also, not coincidentally, invested in heavily by NV Energy, who reportedly contributed more than $63 million to defeat the measure.

“The fact is, NV Energy spent more money opposing Question 3 than anyone has ever spent in the history of Nevada politics,” says Dave Chase, manager of the Yes on 3 campaign.

Opponents of the amendment argued that it would raise prices for ratepayers. Proponents, however, argued that competition would drive prices down and give residents freedom of choice regarding who they used as their energy provider. Energy Pages’ acclaimed three-part analysis of the ballot measure objectively determined that proponents of Question 3 have a strong case and that consumers in Nevada have much to gain from the adoption of a competitive energy market.

Despite the defeat, the fight seems far from over.

“We are disappointed with the results of this election,” Chase says, “and will continue this fight until Nevadans have the right to choose affordable, clean energy.”

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