Unlike one “emergency” that one person thinks he needs to declare, at least this emergency is related to something that is an actual emergency. Sort of.
Nevada legislators Friday declared the bill to mandate higher clean energy standards “an emergency measure under the Constitution,” meaning the bill didn’t have to go through the customary procedural “this many days and that much mumbo jumbo and three passages one of which must fall on a day Steve Yeager is tweeting about donuts” or whatever the legislative rules are. Instead, lawmakers just whipped the bill through, presumably so Gov. Steve Sisolak could sign it Monday, which is Earth Day.
We can’t really begrudge lawmakers and the governor for passing emergency photo-op legislation in aide of a good cause. Well, OK, we could, by pointing out that declaring the minimum wage bill or the paid sick leave bill would address urgent emergencies and, if passed, signed, and made effective immediately, would be the nicest thing Nevada elected officials could possibly do for more Nevadans than anything else the Legislature will do this year.
That said, if lawmakers want to launch a Commemorative Constitutional Special, hustle and declare those bills emergencies, the symbolically yummy date to enact those measures would’t be Earth Day, but a week from Wednesday, i.e., May Day. Yes, the U.S. doesn’t celebrate May Day, because every American chamber of commerce in the 20th Century, echoing every American robber baron in the 19th century, said “respecting and honoring labor is communism do not want” or words to that effect.
Anyway, Monday is not May Day. It is Earth Day, traditionally observed in the U.S. by every Fortune 500 company issuing a press release saying “Every day is Earth Day at (insert name of Fortune 500 company here).”
Nevada producing 50 percent of its energy through renewable resources by 2030, with “a goal” of zero CO2 emissions from energy production in the state by 2050, is not going to reverse the hellscape of destruction, displacement, extinction, poverty, misery and despair already being wrought by climate change — all of which is only going to get worse before it gets better. But every little bit helps. That’s why Nevada voters overwhelmingly approved higher renewable energy standards last November.
Nevada voters also elected a lot of Democrats, because Trump thinks climate change does not pose an existential crisis but Guatemalan toddlers do. Now those Democrats are accelerating the clean energy standards timetable, not only with respect to what voters approved, but vis-a-vis the legislative process itself.
Fair enough. Some photo ops are more deserved than others.