Obama to keynote Reid’s signature clean energy forum

Source: By Hannah Northey, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2015

President Obama later this month is slated to keynote retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s clean energy summit, just on the heels of U.S. EPA finalizing its long-awaited Clean Power Plan.

Obama will speak at the Nevada Democrat’s eighth annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas on Aug. 24 at the Mandalay Bay Resort, where “the focus will be game changing clean energy investments.”

Reid in a YouTube¬†video¬†touted Obama’s track record on clean energy and climate change and painted the summit as a vehicle for advancing Nevada’s booming solar industry, which ships power into hungry Californian markets, generating thousands of construction jobs.

“President Obama will be a touchstone of how good [the conference] will be,” Reid said.

Reid’s summit will also feature Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and former Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) as speakers.

The announcement that Obama will speak arrived just ahead of EPA’s finalizing a rule to curb carbon emissions at existing power generators, which is expected today, and as both chambers of Congress move comprehensive energy legislation for the first time in years.

Obama’s show of support could also shine a light on the changing politics within the Silver State.

Reid, who is not running for re-election, has endorsed former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D), who launched her campaign in April, as his successor.

But Cortez Masto is facing a growing line of Republican contenders, including Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), state Controller Ron Knecht, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the grandson of former Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.) and the son of former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici (R) (Greenwire, July 6).