The following post submitted by Geoffrey Brooks – Somersett Homeowner.  Obviously a controversial subject.  Comments are welcome.

New Year resolutions are very passé – many are made and most are not fulfilled.

In Reno we have an opportunity to benefit from the US commitment to the Paris Accords to reduce green house gas emissions (GHG’s) on our planet.

Our City is the 8th most sunny in the US…there is still is a substantial tax credit for installation of Solar Panels or Wind turbines. Economies of scale have now resulted in solar and wind generated power costing no more, if not less, than power provided by burning Carbon and building new GHG generating behemoths. (Yes we are paying more for electricity than we should so that NV Energy can invest in 19th Century planet destroying technologies!) – Shame on you Warren Buffet!

Reno should place a carbon tax on all electricity consumed generated by burning Coal and Natural Gas in our city. NV Energy produce some of their power from solar, geothermal and hydropower which would be exempt, but 85% of the power they sell in NV comes from Carbon. These tax revenues can be used to subsidize the installation of additional solar, wind, geothermal, hydropower systems needed to replace Carbon fired generating facilities. An investment can be made in a secure modern electrical distribution systems. This enterprise will create good jobs, in addition to those at the Tesla Battery facility. Free Electrical power can be provided in various city locations to re-charge PEV’s and Plug In Hybrids. Just imagine the transformation, our air would be cleaner, the stunning mountain vistas would be clear. Better, healthier living by not burning carbon!

 Washoe County residents should volunteer to visit the desert brush lands and our forests to clean up the brush, remove dead vegetation and recycle human debris!  This will reduce the chance of a fire.

Walking through the woods near Thomas Creek reveals, lots of dead vegetation, dead trees. Using battery powered saws, carts and chippers this can be removed and reduced to wood particles which can be re-used in particle board and engineered woods. Now that Carbon which would be released into the air through decay or fire, will be “captured” in solid structures which can be used for construction. The EV equipment will be powered by the battery packs produced by Tesla in their TRIC mega-factory.

We live in a desert, where water is invaluable, it is resource that needs to conserved, it shouldn’t be free to anyone. A cost should be assigned which all will pay, including the agricultural industry. All crops should be grown using drip-feed water conserving techniques. Look at the vineyards in nearby NAPA. Industrialization of farming is essential to ensure that it continues to provide food for all. As in Vegas, TMWA should be facilitating the adoption of desert landscaping, which requires the use of drought tolerant plantings, using drip-irrigation techniques. TMWA should encourage the plantings of more trees and bushy shrubs. Trees remove more CO2 from the atmosphere on a sq. ft basis than other vegetation. Trees are good, as is drip-feed irrigation!

What can we do here in Somersett? – we can copy Del Webb in Roseville where the community has installed large scale solar power for the amenities.

We can pick up the brush and garbage in the common areas, remove dry brush from the fence lines to reduce the fire risk.

We can sponsor a tree planting campaign…

Most can install solar panels on their roofs, or put up wind turbines (like you see by the Squeeze In on McCarran).

We can do a lot, we can all help to make Somersett and Reno the capital of a “green” and pleasant land by eliminating as much carbon burning as possible.


Geoffrey Brooks BSc. (University of London, England)


  1. How much electricity in Reno is generated by coal? Is there anything wrong with using Natural Gas? Somersett is ideal for wind power.

  2. Coal fired coal power is being phased out in NV, specifically in the Las Vegas area, where there is sufficient water to operate the slurry coal pipeline. There is one of the 4 units left.

    In Reno we get some of our power from a coal burning facility. There is a new coal burning facility near Elko to support mining and metal extraction activities. Most of the coal for these two facilities arrives by truck – also a source of GHG.

    Natiural Gas produces just as much CO2 as does coal, but without the particulates which are exceptionaly damaging to human health (Hg, As, S, soot, etc.). NV Energy should be doing what PG&E is doing in California, installing solar power units (leasing to homeowners in a manner similar to Solar City).

    7 out of the States 10 largest power facilities by generating capacity are natural gas-fired. A new one is planned, that is why our rates have to go up! The current gas fired facilities also use lots of scarce water – there are high efficiency modern gas fired plants which reduce water consumption by 75% aailable…an interim measure wouild be to retrofit, but the best solution is close them all down.

    NV (specifically in our area) uses a lot of geothermal energy (75% of our renewables) – but renewables are only 15% of the total NV power generation – and NV ENergy want to cap this! The Peppermill in Reno generates its own power from geothermal.

    I have been told that the winds in Somersett are too high (at times) for the giant Wind turbines, but there is not an issue with the small wind turbines.

    Quite frankly, it may be too late to mitigate GHG and the destructive effects they have on the planet…but we have to try. That is why we need to keep all the Carbon we can in the ground and STOP burning Carbon!

    Sources: US Energy Information Administration – Nevada – November 19, 2015

  3. Think of how much water we could save if all mow strips were replaced with decorative rocks and just the one tree in our parking area! Just here in Sierra Canyon, plus Somersett, plus all of Reno – why do we need grass next to the street for the water to run down the curb! Understand there are “rules” but they could be changed, and also that a certain Reno Realtor Board member insists on all this grass but he/she needs to wise up. You’re right, this is the desert – live accordingly.

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