A hand in both pockets

In the mercurial world of political lobbying, it seems advocates are beholden to the person who last signed their check. At least that’s true in Nevada, where a bitter legislative battle is being fought over a proposal to double the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent by 2030. 

A shortage of lobbying firms has pitted consultants against themselves, with some lobbyists promoting the interests of both clean energy producers and energy-intensive businesses. The bill under debate would restructure the state’s energy market, requiring companies that opt to leave the regulated grid to purchase power on the open market to follow the higher renewable energy standard. 

“How do you really know who you’re talking to […] and how do they keep from leveraging issues and leveraging their clients against each other to make more money,” asked a perplexed Nevada Assemblyman in a story published by The Nevada Independent.

The shortage has created a spider web of connections in Nevada’s backdoor political scene. One firm has clients including Tesla and SolarCity, in support of the bill, and casino owner MGM and data centre developer Switch, in opposition.

It goes to show that when you drain the swamp, you may end up with strange bedfellows.