LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev, said Tuesday that Nevada is primed to lead the rest of the country “into the clean energy future.”

In remarks Tuesday evening at a joint session of the Nevada Assembly and Senate, Cortez Masto said $130 billion in federal funding is up for grabs, and if Nevada doesn’t go after it another state will.

“In our future, Nevada is at the forefront of leading in the 21st century innovation economy. I call Nevada the innovation state because we have the workforce, we have the companies, we have the universities, the colleges, the institutes — thanks to DRI — and the labs really that are incubating ideas and pioneering the technologies and the jobs of the future.”

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev.

Republican Gov. Joe Lombardo joined members of the Democrat-majority Assembly and Senate for the joint session. Cortez Masto spoke for about 15 minutes, highlighting a number of businesses in the state that could play key roles in developing the EV technology the nation needs.

“Ask anyone in the country what they see when they think of Nevada, and they will tell you the sun. That’s what we have here. And we certainly capitalized on our solar economy,” Cortez Masto said, adding that Nevada now has the No. 1 solar economy in the country.

“But what most people don’t know is that Nevada is the center of this country’s clean energy and critical mineral future. It’s the only state in the U.S. that encompasses nearly every facet of the critical mineral and advanced battery technology. We’ve got extraction, to the research and the development, to processing, refining, manufacturing, and yes, to recycling operations,” she said.

Cortez Masto said it’s important that Nevada take the opportunity to grow the economy, create good-paying jobs and support Nevada families.

For too long, she said, the raw materials — lithium — has been mined in Nevada and shipped overseas for processing and manufacturing.