Las Vegas Sun

November 22, 2017

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Obama leaves Nevada after making clean energy pitch


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

President Barack Obama walks with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s, from left, CEO Jeff Martin, Vice President Operations John Sowers and Kevin Gillespie, right, while touring their Copper Mountain Solar 1 photovoltaic plant Wednesday, March 21, 2012 south of Boulder City.

Updated Wednesday, March 21, 2012 | 3:15 p.m.

Obama Tours Sempra Solar Plant

President Barack Obama speaks during a visit to Sempra U.S. Gas & Power's Copper Mountain Solar 1 photovoltaic plant Wednesday, March 21, 2012 south of Boulder City. Launch slideshow »

Obama's Boulder City speech

President Obama discusses his energy plan at Copper Mountain Solar 1 in Boulder City.

Obama Arrives at McCarran March 2012

President Barack Obama greets people after arriving at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Obama Departs McCarran March 2012

President Barack Obama departs from McCarran Airport in Las Vegas after delivering an energy policy speech at a solar plant in Boulder City on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. Launch slideshow »

Sun reporter Conor Shine is providing media pool coverage of President Barack Obama’s visit today to southern Nevada. Shine will be with the presidential party during the entirety of Obama’s three hours on the ground in Nevada and will provide reports to media outlets throughout the region about the visit.

The Sun will publish Shine’s updates throughout Obama’s visit.

2:59 p.m.: With a wave from Air Force One, Obama ends three-hour visit

The presidential motorcade arrived back at McCarran Airport at 2:41 p.m.

The president quickly made his way onto Air Force One, but not before stopping to give one last wave to Las Vegas from the top of the air stairs and then disappearing into the plane.

Air Force One took off at 2:51 p.m. and is now en route to New Mexico.

2:06 p.m.: Obama touts 'All of the Above' energy plan in speech, heads back to airport

After riding out into the middle of the massive Copper Mountain Solar 1 field, the president exited his vehicle for a brief walking tour, lasting about 10 minutes. During the tour with Sempra CEO Jeffrey Martin and Kevin Gillespie and John Sowers, two Sempra operations workers, the president visited a weather-monitoring station and asked about the field's power producing potential.

"I don't want to break one of these," Obama said as he walked past a solar panel. "They look expensive."

The president quickly segued into his speech in front of a small gathered crowd in the middle of the solar field.

During the 16-minute speech, the president, who ditched his suit jacket and rolled up his sleeves in the desert heat, touted his "all of the above" energy plan.

Obama chided "some politicians" for not supporting renewable energy in addition to expanding domestic oil and gas production.

"These politicians need to come to Boulder City and see what I'm seeing," he said.

The president also made reference to the nearby Hoover Dam, which he called a testament to "the notion that we can do anything."

After the speech ended shortly before 1:30 p.m., the president shook hands and greeted the public before returning to the motorcade.

The motorcade departed at 1:58 p.m. and is en route to McCarran Airport.

12:25 p.m.: Motorcade makes its way through Henderson, arrives at Copper Mountain Solar 1

The presidential motorcade arrived at Copper Mountain Solar 1 at 12:18 p.m. local time.

The motorcade traveled west through Henderson with no complications on its way to the solar field.

There weren't any large crowds gathered along the motorcade route, although about 40 people were in the parking lot at the Railroad Pass casino, waving and taking pictures as the president drove by. Several other people stood outside their homes to watch the procession, including a bare-chested man who stood on top of his fence, cheering and waving his shirt above his head.

President is scheduled to begin his tour of the facility in about 30 minutes.

12:09 p.m.: Air Force One touches down at McCarran

President Barack Obama touched down at McCarran International Airport shortly before 11:30 a.m. local time.

Upon exiting the plane, Obama, wearing a dark suit, blue shirt and purple tie, was greeted by Clark County Commissioner Susan Brager.

After a brief conversation and handshake, Obama made his way over to the small crowd that had been granted access to the landing area.

After asking the crowd "How's it going?" the president made his way down the line, shaking hands and greeting members of the crowd, including high-fiving a young boy who had worked his way to the front of the crowd.

The presidential motorcade departed the airport for Copper Mountain Solar 1 in Boulder City at 11:41 a.m.

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