Western Collaboration: Gov. Inslee talks clean energy with CEP and Nevada advocates

Senator Harry Reid, CEP Executive Director Karen Wayland, Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA)

Part of our expanding mission at the Clean Energy Project is to launch the Nevada experience onto the national stage. We had a great opportunity to do that this week when Governor Jay Inslee of Washington came to Las Vegas and led a roundtable about Nevada’s clean energy successes organized by the Clean Energy Project and Senator Harry Reid. I worked closely with Inslee on climate and clean energy legislation when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he founded the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a group of members who support policies for clean energy innovation and job creation. Here’s more about “Jay” from his official bio:

During his time in Congress, Jay became known as a forward-thinking leader, especially on issues of clean energy and the environment. He co-wrote a book, “Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean-Energy Economy,” about the job-creating potential of the clean tech industry. As governor, Jay’s top priority is growing Washington’s innovative industries such as clean energy, IT and life sciences, and strengthening existing industries such as aerospace, agriculture, maritime and military. Since 2013, Washington has experienced a seven-year low in unemployment rates, record exports and notable growth in Washington’s key industries. 

Governor Inslee has made addressing climate change and developing clean energy resources one of his top priorities. Clean Energy Project brought together a small group of leaders and advocates to tell Governor Inslee their stories about clean energy in Nevada.

The successes in both Nevada and Washington are a testament to the fact that states are leading the way on clean energy advancement. For example, Nevada boasts 31,000 jobs in the clean energy sector with 10 percent growth last year alone, thanks in part to a sweeping suite of clean energy bills passed by Nevada’s legislature. Washington’s electric grid, predominately hydroelectric, is 74 percent renewable with the commitment that an additional 15 percent of the state’s power supply come from new, renewable resources in the years ahead.

MGM hosted the event at the Rivea on the 64th floor of the Delano so we could overlook the Mandalay Bay solar array, for now the largest rooftop installation in the world (more on that later). Coincidentally, MGM had just announced that it will supply up to 90 percent of daytime demand for its 13 casinos along the Strip from its new Desert Lake solar project. We heard friendly banter between MGM and Tesla representatives about who would ultimately have the world’s largest rooftop array. 

We gave Governor Inslee a broad view of Nevada’s clean energy accomplishments and our plans for building on those successes. He capped off the meeting by thanking us for the stories and promised to use Nevada’s story as he travels showing state leaders that they can win and grow their economies by supporting clean energy.

We know many of our friends and colleagues would have liked to join us, but we had limited space and planned the event in just a few days. But don’t worry, we’ll find other opportunities for you to tell your stories to the country. 

Stay tuned for updates on the Silver State’s clean energy journey!

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