In November we have a decision to make – to vote YES or NO on Question 3, The Energy Choice Initiative. If I were to make a prediction, it is that Question 3 passes. Why? In 2016, 72% (783,120) of Nevada voters voted in favor of its passage. Unless Nevada voters have had a shift in attitude over the last two years, my guess is that the vote could be similar in 2018.

By Matt McCarthy, NRMC 1st Vice President

In November we have a decision to make – to vote YES or NO on Question 3, The Energy Choice Initiative. If I were to make a prediction, it is that Question 3 passes. Why? In 2016, 72% (783,120) of Nevada voters voted in favor of its passage. Unless Nevada voters have had a shift in attitude over the last two years, my guess is that the vote could be similar in 2018.

But I hope I’m wrong. I am a free enterprise capitalist and I support competition in the market place. But there are too many unanswered questions regarding Question 3 that leave me very suspicious about its final state if passed. Mostly, though, I’m concerned that changing our Constitution under the pretext that energy choice is a “right” is an overreach.

By voting YES in November, we empower our Legislature to amend Article 1 of the Nevada State Constitution by adding a new section (section 23). If you aren’t familiar with Article 1, it lists a number of declarative “rights” granted to individuals, mostly to protect individuals from its government. So why place it in Article 1? According to draft language, energy choice is about the “right” to choose – and not just for individuals but for businesses, state agencies, political subdivisions (whatever that is), and other Nevada entities.

So, if passed, the Constitution will extend rights beyond individuals to inorganic things like businesses and political subdivisions. Certainly, people within a business have rights, but how does a business have a right? And what are political subdivisions (loose language we need to be mindful of)? Why do they need rights? Let’s face it, businesses and political subdivisions are not people; they are made up things for the purpose of engaging in transactions. So why do these things need a “right” to choose? An overreach!

And lastly, how different is choosing an energy option from choosing a shoe option (other than we currently do not have an energy option). Do I have a “right” to choose the shoes I’m buying and wearing? If so, why isn’t the “right” to choose my shoe options in the Nevada Constitution. Who knows. Maybe one day it will be.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed herein does not constitute an endorsement or reflect the viewpoint of the Nevada Republican Men’s Club Board of Directors and is merely an expression of the individual’s viewpoint.