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Clean Energy Summit Wraps With President's Speech

Solar panel array at Nellis Air Force Base.
U.S. Air Force

Solar panel array at Nellis Air Force Base.

President Barack Obama stopped in Las Vegas Monday in a whirlwind tour that included a keynote speech at the National Clean Energy Summit.

This is the eighth year Las Vegas has hosted the summit put together by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV. 

Desert Companion staff writer Heidi Kyser attended the summit and asked the senator about, among other things, the debate over rooftop solar and net metering in Nevada.

"He was kind of suggesting that the potential for lawsuits is there... and it would be better if the PUC, in the case of Nevada, did what consumers want, which is give them the choice to produce their own electricity," Kyser said.

This is the senator's last year in office, but Reid did not comment on whether he would be part of future summits, according to Kyser.

The highlight for those attending the summit was the president's speech.

President Obama took about a half hour to speak to the crowd gathered at the summit at Mandalay Bay hotel-casino.

The president used his speech at the green energy conference to make the case that renewable energy innovations are creating jobs, boosting the economy and helping to combat dangerous emissions that contribute to climate change.

His speech was a cap on several days of discussions among experts and policy makers about clean energy and how to better fuel the world with it.

Kyser said the clean energy experts she talked with were focused on the distribution and storage of renewable energy rather than generating it.

"What we're going to see going forward... is much more of a broad approach, which involves a grid that can take up any type of renewable energy produced and distribute it as needed across a wide geographical area," she said. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)

Heidi Kyser, staff writer, Desert Companion 

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)