Environment Forum

Vegas likes cleantech stakes

The subtitle of Senate leader Harry Reid’s Monday clean energy conference was ‘jobs’ and the unofficial subtitle was: ouch!

Nevada exists on mining and gambling, and neither is doing too great at the moment. So Vegas is chasing the money to green projects, envisioning solar photovoltaic and solar thermal plants popping up all over its desert to supply California and anyone else that wants clean power.

The alternative — no work. Union building trades unemployment is 50 percent and rising in Reno, the northwestern part of the state near the California border, and in the high 20s in the area around Vegas, where the big projects are counted on three fingers, AFL-CIO state Executive Secretary-Treasurer Danny Thompson said.

 ”There is not jobs scheduled until late 2010, and by then all of us could be homeless,” said unemployed Vegas plumber and pipe fitter Becky Swartzbaugh, whose apprentice is living with her.

The idea of a green Las Vegas could be amusing on the face of it — a monster energy-using city that gobbles water and is considering building a multi-billion-dollar pipeline to an acquifier up north going green?

from Summit Notebook:

Kinder: wind, solar not the answer to U.S. energy needs

Rich Kinder, CEO of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, says the Obama Administration's push to develop alternative energy sources such as wind and solar are not the answer to reducing the nation's dependence on oil or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Click below to hear where Kinder thinks the U.S. should be focusing its attention.

Kinder: wind, solar not the answer from Reuters TV on Vimeo.