Clinton Says U.S. Could 'Rock the World' - 8 News NOW

Janet O, Reporter

Clinton Says U.S. Could 'Rock the World'

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Enough sunlight falls on 100 square miles of Nevada to power the entire U.S. electrical system. Enough sunlight falls on 100 square miles of Nevada to power the entire U.S. electrical system.

Nevada has quickly made a name for itself in clean energy circles and now the eyes of the nation are focused on the Silver State. An clean energy summit started Monday in Las Vegas.

Leaders believe Nevada can lead the world in renewable energy like wind and solar power, and former President Bill Clinton added his voice to the urgency of the matter, "Cost for ordinary Americans are soaring for energy, for food, for healthcare. Increasingly they have financed those costs with flats waged through debt which has contributed, we all know, to the home mortgage crisis and many other debt crunches I think are still going to come at us in waves over the next couple of years."

The first solar thermal power manufacturing company in North America is right here in our backyard. While Nevada has been leading the way in creating renewable energy, experts and policy makers said more needs to be done here and in the rest of the country.

Mary Easwarm is among the dozens of community members here who are fed up with high gas prices and America's slow shift to cleaner energy sources, "I want to make sure our children and grandchildren will still have a planet."

Nevada is at the center of debate on how the U.S. can create more wind farms and solar plants.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid, a long time champion of renewable energy, says the purpose of the summit is so lawmakers and industry experts can come up with a policy to accelerate change in America.

"Energy is at the heart of the three greatest challenges U.S. faces today," said Clinton. He added that the U.S. could "rock the world" when it comes to clean energy.

The former president says a clean energy economy will be cheaper for American's in the long run and create more jobs. He adds that everything is in place to make this happen, but first Congress needs to open the gateway for renewable energy companies.

"The president made it clear. It's not a question of money, it's allowing the great free enterprises to work. All we have to do in Washington is make tax credits renewable," said Senator Reid.

Easwarm believes that change is tangible. She's been trying to reduce her carbon footprint, adding that every little bit helps, "I try to do simple things like turning off lights and making sure we have energy efficient appliances."

Clinton says the tax credits given to renewable energy companies needs to be extended from three years to a minimum of six.

And here's an interesting fact: Enough sunlight falls on 100 square miles of Nevada to power the entire U.S. electrical system. So the resources are definitely here at home, they just need to be better developed.

You can watch live coverage of the summit starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday on Las Vegas ONE, Channel 19. The summit will also be live streamed on LasVegasNOW.com.

Email your comments to Reporter Janet O

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