President Obama embarked on a four-state energy tour this week and made his first stop in Boulder City, a Nevada town about 20 miles outside Las Vegas. The town is home to the Copper Mountain Solar 1 Facility, the largest photovoltaic solar power plant in the United States, where the President renewed his support for the solar industry.
Republicans have repeatedly censured the President for a slew of Energy Department-sponsored loans that have resulted in taxpayer-subsidized failures, most notable being the demise of solar panel-maker Solyndra. "This is one of those interesting left-wing ideas which works theoretically as long as it's not real," GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Wednesday. "And then you put in a half billion dollars and you go, 'Oh that didn't quite work.'"
"Now you’d think, given this extraordinary sight, given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally — you’d think that everybody would be supportive of solar power," Obama asserted during his Boulder City speech, with thousands of solar panels serving as a backdrop. "And yet, if some politicians have their way, there won’t be any more public investment in solar energy."
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Photo: President Barack Obama speaks after touring Sempra's Copper Mountain Solar 1 facility, March 21, 2012, in Boulder City, Nev.: AP Images