Yes, Buffett and company have to eat No on 3 campaign costs

Eat it
Buffett and his shareholders have to eat it, PUC says.
Eat it
The law say Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway’s shareholders have to eat it.

The fight over Question 3, an amendment that would have effectively deregulated the state’s electric industry, resulted in nearly $100 million in combined campaign spending by business interests, including $63.6 million by opponents, nearly all of it paid by NV Energy.  

So who picks up that $63.6 million tab?

Not customers, according to the Public Utilities Commission.

The “cost to oppose Question 3 is not a cost that is properly recovered from NV Energy’s customers,” said PUC public information officer Peter Kostes in an email.

And regulators are going to watch for that.

The Regulatory Operations Staff of the Commission and the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protections will be reviewing all applications by NV Energy to change customer rates to make sure that Question 3 costs are not included in the calculation of customer rates, Kostes said.

Regulated public utilities in Nevada are not allowed to recover costs associated with advertising, lobbying, charitable contributions and other expenses not necessary for providing safe and reliable utility services in rates, said Kostes.

“Costs that a regulated public utility incurs that are not included in customer rates are paid for by the utility’s shareholders,” wrote Kostes in an email.

NV Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, which in turn is a subsidiary of the Warren Buffet-controlled transnational conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Jeniffer Solis
Reporter | Jeniffer was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas before graduating in 2017 with a B.A in Journalism and Media Studies. While at UNLV she was a senior staff writer for the student newspaper, the UNLV Scarlet and Gray Free Press, and a news reporter for KUNV 91.5 FM, covering everything from the Route 91 shooting to UNLV housing. She has also contributed to the UNLV News Center and worked as a production engineer for several KUNV broadcasts before joining the Nevada Current. She’s an Aries.

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