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Moapa Band of Paiute Indians of Nevada

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The nation's fastest-growing state isn't ready for electric utility deregulation because an uncertain market could mean huge power bills for Nevada residents, Gov. Kenny Guinn said. "It would put the people in Nevada at a risk I cannot take because supply is low and demand is high,'' he said at a news conference Oct. 6. Already, PG&E Corp. plans to build a natural gas-fueled power plant near Moapa, 45 miles northeast of Las Vegas, that could serve 1 million homes in Nevada and other fast-growing Western states. The Paiute tribe wants to build a natural gas-fired plant on land it owns at the Moapa Indian Reservation. Its partner in the deal is Calpine Energy Co. of San Jose, Calif. Guinn said he'll appoint a bipartisan panel to ensure residential rate payers are protected in a competitive market. It will advise him on a long-term energy policy for the state. It will report findings to him by Jan. 15 and deregulation will begin Sept. 1 or before. Las Vegas-based Nevada Power Co. and Reno-based Sierra Pacific Power are the only power companies serving Nevada. Deregulation would open the market to competition. Some lawmakers had encouraged Guinn to delay deregulation, scheduled to begin in March, fearing residential consumers would not be protected

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