For the last five years, I have been honored to sponsor the National Clean Energy Summit which takes place in Las Vegas. In August, the summit brought together our nation’s clean energy leaders from government and the private sector to tackle the tough energy issues facing our nation. President Bill Clinton delivered the keynote address to this year’s summit participants and he challenged Nevada to continue working to become the first state to become energy self-sufficient. I am confident that our state can accomplish this goal by producing more electricity and creating jobs from our geothermal, solar and wind energy resources.
Boulder City has already begun to benefit from clean energy projects, and increasing our investment in clean energy innovation will create jobs and strengthen Nevada’s small businesses. Nevada communities, including Boulder City, have seen more than $248 million in tax revenue generated from clean energy projects since 2010. From 2003 to 2010, clean energy job growth measured annually at 5.8 percent, and these jobs pay $8,000 more than the median wage for other jobs. And, in the coming two decades, experts believe that there will be a $7 trillion market for clean energy technology. Nevada must stay at the forefront of the industry so we can compete for a sizeable portion of the market.
As we invest in clean energy we must also maintain our vigilance to protect our environment. Here in Nevada, the Reid-Gardner coal-fired power plant located about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas in the Moapa Valley burns millions of tons of imported coal each year and causes disproportionate public health impacts to nearby communities. That plant rains down a variety of soot, heavy metals and other toxic particles and gases, and sends up more than 2.8 million tons of climate-changing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. I favor replacing this old, dirty technology with clean power made from Nevada’s sun, wind and geothermal energy.
President Obama’s plan to increase renewable energy generation is working here in the Silver State. I will continue to work toward a clean energy future so all Nevadans have cheaper and cleaner sources of power.
Contact Harry Reid at http://reid.senate.gov/