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New SWEEP report reveals opportunities for big savings in Nevada’s transportation sector



Findings show the potential to add billions to the state’s economy, create thousands of jobs and put money back in the pockets of Nevada residents

CARSON CITY, Nev.– Nevada could add tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy, drastically reduce its dependence on foreign oil, save consumers money and create local jobs by taking steps to improve the energy efficiency of its transportation system, according to a report released today by the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP).

The “Nevada Transportation Blueprint” identifies 15 strategies that, if adopted, would help transform the state’s transportation sector from one of dependency and escalating expenses to a major economic driver for the state. SWEEP will present the findings of the report to the State Senate Committee on Transportation tomorrow on Thursday, Feb. 17, at 3:30 p.m., in room 2135 of the Legislative Building in Carson City.

Nevada, at present, imports nearly all of its transportation fuels. With energy demand increasing and fuel prices rising, more and more money is being spent to fuel the transportation sector. Unfortunately, that money is flowing out of state and not staying to benefit Nevada’s economy.

“The recent unrest in Egypt and throughout the Middle East is a stark reminder of our precarious dependency on unstable regimes to meet our growing energy demands. It’s time for Nevada to take charge of its energy future by improving its transportation efficiency, which will reduce oil imports and free up money to be spent in the local economy,” said report co-author Mike Salisbury of SWEEP.

Among the recommendations in the report are the electrification of the state’s light duty fleet, and advancing planning and zoning guidelines to allow for greater use of electric vehicles. Those strategies compliment efforts underway by NV Energy and the US Department of Transportation to build out the state’s electric vehicle infrastructure.

“Nevada only produces less than 1 percent of its transportation fuel, but the state does have an abundance of geothermal, wind, solar and hydroelectric resources that can be used to create electricity to power vehicles. Creative renewable energy and transportation ideas like the ones being proposed by SWEEP can help Nevada lead the nation to become more self-reliant and secure, bringing more money and jobs back to our state instead of sending economic resources overseas,” said Stan Hanel, “Plugged In” columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and former board of directors member for the Las Vegas Electric Vehicle Association.

The strategies outlined in this report, if adopted, would create tremendous economic and health benefits for Nevada, including avoiding the import of over 600 million barrels of oil by 2050, which would save the state between $38 billion and $57 billion. That translates into average annual household savings of $600 to $900 by 2020 and $1,200 to $1,500 by 2050.

Income not spent on fuel largely remains in the local economy, where it helps to create jobs.  SWEEP forecasts that the strategies in this report would create approximately 2,200 permanent new jobs in Nevada by 2020 and 7,200 jobs by 2050.

In addition to economic benefits, the new transportation strategies would also help alleviate the public health concern associated with high emission levels, particularly in densely-populated areas.

The key findings of this report are highlighted on SWEEP’s fact sheet.

About SWEEP: The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project is a private not-for-profit organization promoting greater energy efficiency in Arizona,Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. For more information, see www.swenergy.org.

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