Climate Profile: Hunter Holman

Jay Gill, Columnist

Welcome to the Climate Profile, a feature brought to you by the North Tahoe chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, which explores the stories of local citizens and how climate change has affected their lives.

“I never thought I’d be working in energy policy,” says Hunter Holman, Truckee resident and Staff Attorney at Western Resource Advocates (WRA). As a Utah native, he also never expected to be living in Truckee.

Looking back on two years of living in Truckee and working with WRA to advance the cause of greening and de-carbonizing our energy supplies, Hunter calls it a “happy surprise.”

Hunter’s story resonates with so many of us who have chosen to make our home in the Sierras. In Truckee, Hunter and his wife, Anna, a physician at the Tahoe Forest Health System, have found the perfect place to combine their professional goals with their love for nature and outdoor activities.

So how does a Utah native and graduate of the University of Utah in History and International Affairs end up in Truckee working on energy policy? One step at a time.

Hunter’s interest in environmental causes surged in college when he worked with the Healthy Environmental Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah) to advocate for solutions to reduce and remediate radioactive nuclear waste in the state. A mentor from HEAL planted the idea that Hunter could make a greater impact in environmental issues as an attorney.

During law school, Hunter took a strong interest in environmental law, discovered the vast, intricate world of energy policy, and set himself on the path that would lead to his current role at WRA.

But the decision to move to Truckee wasn’t just about Hunter’s career. When Anna finished her medical training at the University of Utah, she learned of an opportunity at Tahoe Forest that looked like an ideal location to establish a new sports medicine practice in a mecca of outdoor sports. Soon after they made the move, Hunter learned about the opportunity to work WRA and signed on.

Now Hunter is a part of a small, dedicated team of WRA experts focused on transforming the energy infrastructure in the State of Nevada. Working from his Truckee home office, he networks virtually and travels regularly to Carson City, Reno and even Las Vegas to meet with state legislators and administration officials, utility commissioners, county officials and allies from numerous like-minded organizations. Together, they forge consensus and create momentum to build a clean and green energy future for Nevada. Current priorities include evolving electric pricing structures to incentivize greener consumption choices and revising utility resource planning approaches to maximize climate-friendly impacts in the medium- to long-term.

As Hunter observes, “de-carbonization is inevitable,” due to the now-clear economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy sources. The question now is not if but how – and how fast – we get there. His job, along with WRA colleagues and allies, is nothing less than to help re-design the Nevada energy grid of the future in a way that maximizes the climate and economic benefits for everyone.

If greening the Nevada grid was not rewarding enough in its own right, Hunter now has even greater incentives to help transform our energy and climate future. Earlier this year, he and Anna welcomed a baby daughter – and new Truckee native – into their family.

Looking back, Hunter remarks that as much as he and Anna loved Salt Lake City and its amazing access to outdoor recreation resources, Truckee comes out on top, and he looks forward to enjoying the Sierras, growing a family and helping to create a greener energy future here for the foreseeable future.

Jay Gill is a volunteer with the North Tahoe chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby and a resident of Truckee.

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