Senate Democrats

Reid: Summit Gives Us A Glimpse Of Our Clean Energy Future

Las Vegas, NVNevada Senator Harry Reid today spoke at the National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 at Aria Resort and Casino at CityCenter in Las Vegas. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

“Welcome to the National Clean Energy Summit 4.0. I am pleased to be hosting this important event in Nevada again.

Thanks to new cohosts, the Clean Energy Project and MGM Resorts International, owner of today’s venue, the beautiful Aria Hotel.

Aria is part of City Center, the largest LEED Gold certified development in the world.

While I’m sure you noticed the luxury of this premier resort, what you may not have noticed were the efforts to save electricity, water and waste going on all around you all the time.

Last year alone, the environmentally conscious touches throughout Aria and MGM’s 14 other properties across the country saved:

  • 140 million kilowatt hours of electricity
  • 33 percent of the company’s waste
  • 56,000 metric tons of carbon emissions and
  • 200 million gallons of water

And MGM did it without most guests even noticing.

Las Vegas companies like MGM are not only leading the way in the service industry, but also setting an example for how to be good stewards of the environment.

Today thanks also go to our veteran sponsors, the Center for American Progress and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, for their continued support.

UNLV has been a leader in clean energy research and development for decades. The University has showed the world not only how rich Southern Nevada’s solar resources are, but how best to unlock them.

For years, the solar arrays on Flamingo Road have been a signal that important work is going on here in Las Vegas.

Without UNLV’s leadership in the field and the work of their Center for Energy Research and the Solar Solutions Center, this event might not be possible.

Over the last three years, this summit has brought together the investors, innovators and policy makers who are moving our clean energy industry forward.

Today those leaders are joined once again by environmentalists, engaged citizens and students to talk about what we can do together to ensure this industry continues to grow and create good jobs for American workers.

Advanced energy technology – from new vehicles and smarter appliances to more efficient electric grids and cleaner power plants – have the power to change the way we live for the better.

It offers us a pathway to a more secure and independent America – one that isn’t dependent on oil from unstable regions of the world but rather embraces the American spirit of innovation.

It offers manufacturing and construction workers who have struggled to find jobs during these tough economic times a chance to get back to work building solar panels, transmission grids and high-speed trains.

This summit gives each of us a glimpse of our clean energy future.

It will also help us see why we need to build on our clean energy achievements, not surrender our leadership to other countries who have also made clean energy a top priority.

Today’s tradeshow curiosities will become the tools and gadgets we can’t live without tomorrow.

In fact, many of the technologies we have seen previewed during the last three National Clean Energy Summits have already changed the way we live. They have brought us cleaner air, given us more control over how we use energy and stabilized our energy bills – all while creating new jobs.

For all of us here today, the Future of Energy is now.

Some of the greatest minds of the industry are here to tell us why.

We’ll hear from Vice President Joe Biden. He’ll talk about several Nevada projects that are leading the way to a new energy frontier, and what the Administration is doing to ensure companies nationwide are following their footsteps to remain competitive.

Western governors and public policy leaders will explain what we can do at the regional level to advance clean energy development and secure the future of this industry.

Business leaders will tell us why clean energy innovation isn’t just good for the earth – it’s also good for our wallets. And that’s true whether you’re a consumer or a giant corporation.

Ray Mabus, secretary of the Navy, will discuss how clean energy can keep us safe by reducing our reliance on foreign oil. In addition to being the finest naval fighting force on earth, the U.S. Navy is doing its part to protect this nation by reducing its own use of fossil fuels while pioneering the next generation of biofuels.

And Energy Secretary Steven Chu will describe how the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act not only created and saved more than a million American jobs, but also spurred innovation in the energy technology field.

In Nevada alone, the department of energy invested over $1.7 billion through grants and assistance with financing to sustain the rapid growth of the clean energy economy despite a harsh economic downturn.

Secretary Chu will also tell us why it is crucial we build on this progress and continue breaking ground on technologies that will improve consumers’ lives and save them money at the same time.

Secretary Chu, the recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize for Physics, knows what it takes to spur innovation. He holds 10 patents and has published more than 250 scientific and technical papers.

Before he was appointed to head the Department of Energy, he was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where he led some of the nation’s brightest scientists in their pursuit of new renewable energy technologies.

Throughout his career, he has been a leader in the search for solutions to climate change and our global energy challenges.

While serving in the Obama Administration, he has made investment in clean energy a priority not only because it reduces our nation’s dependence on foreign oil and helps address climate change, but because it is the best way to create good-paying jobs that can never be shipped overseas.

And since his day job evidently doesn’t keep him busy enough, Secretary Chu also recently published scientific work on general relativity and single molecule biology and biophysics. In this crowd, I bet a few of you even know what that means.

It is my pleasure to introduce the Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.”