Las Vegas Sun

May 6, 2015

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We can lead on energy

Timing could not be better for clean energy stimulus, as Middle East gearing up fast

President-elect Barack Obama this month laid out his goals for a new stimulus bill, one that Congress is fashioning and expects to have ready in about a month.

One goal of particular interest to Nevada was to use stimulus money to enter a new energy age. Here is some of what he said:

“We will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years. We will ... put Americans to work in new jobs ... building solar panels and wind turbines ... and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs ... and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.”

Those words contain unlimited potential for Nevada, where a combination of open land and steady sun, along with vast geothermal resources and strong winds in many areas, offers a path to a much more diversified economic future.

The stimulus bill, which most news analysts predict will enable public investment of $850 billion to $1 trillion in the national economy, will be multifaceted, to say the least. Yet we are confident Obama’s vision for building up America’s renewable energy industries will be one of its highest priorities.

Recent news out of the Middle East confirms the timing could not be better. The New York Times reports that countries there are aggressively preparing for the future by pouring billions of dollars into green technologies, with the intention of cornering the renewable-energy market just as they cornered the oil market.

Wouldn’t it be a travesty if the United States found itself in the future just as dependent on Middle Eastern clean energy as it is now on the region’s oil?

“The leadership in these breakthrough technologies is a title the U.S. can easily lose,” an energy executive in Abu Dhabi told the Times.

Our country has all the natural resources and human ingenuity it needs to solidify itself as the world’s leader in renewable energies. We’re looking forward to seeing the stimulus bill put us on that track.

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