Today Las Vegas played host to the Clean Energy Summit 3.0, co-hosted by Senate Majority Leader Hary Reid (D-NV) and Center for American Progress Action Fund President and CEO John Podesta at UNLV. In attendance at the event were business and political leaders from Nevada and across the United States. The purpose of the summit was to discuss the way forward in building a clean energy future, while creating green jobs and reducing the destruction we are currently doing to our environment. If you’re interested in learning more about the potential of renewable energy, Nevada Magazine published a great overview in their November/December 2009 issue that may be read here.
My husband and I were up bright-and-early this morning to participate in the “Blue-Green Rally” and greet summit attendees with “Clean Energy, Green Jobs” signs as they arrived at the Cox Pavillion. Over 60 citizens joined in the event, comprised largely of members of local labor unions like the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
To me, advocating for clean energy jobs for Nevada makes perfect sense. We have an abundance of sun (over 350 days per year) and wind. We also currently have among the worst unemployment in the country.
Traffic was pretty busy along our stretch of Swenson Road for an early Tuesday morning – students travelling to UNLV, people arriving for the summit, tourists being transported from nearby McCarran Airport. Many cars honked as they passed, and surprisingly there weren’t any hecklers. Shortly before 8 a.m. a taxi passed by carrying two men in business suits. One of the men asked the taxi driver to pause long enough for him to take a picture of our rally. After stopping for about 30 seconds, the man decided to get out of the taxi and join in the rally. It turned it he worked with Mohave Sun Power, a company proposing to build a large solar power facility in northern Arizona.
At the end of the rally, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dropped by to share his support on his way to the larger summit. Reid said that Nevada already has two large industries – tourism and mining – but he believed that the production and exportation of renewable energy could become the third. Reid faces a challenging Senate re-election race this year, but he received affirmative cheers of “Harry! Harry!” from our group.